I'm going to take almost full credit for this one, as I was actually capable of conceiving my own recipe idea rather than adapting from another. Though, I do have to point out that my recent roasted vegetable kick is attributable to inspiration from FoodWanderings. I love this dish because the smokey flavors of the roasted eggplant are so perfectly complimented by the spice of the chicken sausage. That, and it's a good way to sneak in some veggies for the carnivore....Oh, and that you don't have to fry individual layers of eggplant, or fry at all for that matter. (Okay, there are a lot of things that I love about this dish!)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 sprigs thyme, removed from sprigs
10 basil leaves
1 tbsp. dry italian seasonings
2 medium eggplants
1 to 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce (either this arrabbiata sauce, or Trader Joe's marinara - it's fabulous for a canned sauce)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
2 eggs, beaten
2 mild Italian chicken sausages, casings removed - I like the Whole Food's version; one of their more reasonably priced items
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
TIP: Roast eggplant the night before - Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Dice eggplants, skins on, into 1-inch cubes. Toss in bowl with olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Spread in one layer over a parchment-lined hotel pan. Spread basil leaves evenly across eggplant. Roast for three hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown sausage into medium chunks. Mix with parmesan, tomato sauce, eggs, italian seasonings, and eggplant, and spread into loaf pan. Top with mozzarella. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned.