1 medium eggplant, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs.
1/3 cup olive oil or salad oil
1 Tbs. dried basil leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 can (1 lb.) tomatoes
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1/4 cup dry red wine (optional)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
dash cayenne pepper
Cut unpeeled eggplant into 1/2 inch slices. Spread on paper towels; sprinkle generously with salt. Let stand 20 minutes. Blot surface moisture. Brush both sides of eggplant with some of the oil. Arrange slices in a single layer in a greased, shallow baking pan. Mix 1 Tbs. of the oil, herbs, and garlic; reserve 1 tsp. of mixture. Sprinkle remaining mixture evenly over eggplant. Sprinkle with cheese. Brown onion and celery lightly in remaining oil in a medium frying pan. Mix in tomatoes (coarsely chopped with liquid), tomato paste, wine, parsley, salt, black and cayenne peppers, and reserved mixture. Bring to boiling, cover, reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes. Uncover, cook until sauce is thick, 8 to 10 minutes. In the meantime, bake eggplant at 425º until tender and brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with tomato sauce.
For 2 servings: Half of the ingredients. Use 1 small eggplant.
For 8 servings: Double the ingredients. Use only 1 1/2 cans of tomatoes.