Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan

4 medium eggplant
2 cups fresh tomato sauce
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped basil
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
About 1/2 pound sliced fresh mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Trim the rounded edges with a knife so that the halves will lay flat on a roasting pan, cut-side up. Using a sharp-edged spoon, scoop out the flesh, coarsely chop, and put in a medium bowl. Leave a 1/2-inch border around the interior of the eggplant; set aside.

Toss the chopped flesh with all the remaining ingredients except the mozzarella. Taste the mixture to verify seasoning. Place the eggplant halves on a baking or roasting pan, cut-side up. Fill each halfway with the stuffing. Arrange 2 to 3 slices of mozzarella on top. Finish with a layer of stuffing, shaping gently to round the tops. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until tender, bubbling and golden.

Serves 4-6


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