Baked Eggplant Parmesan Boats with Sausage

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Ingredients:

2 medium (15 oz each) white eggplants

3 links (8.4 oz) sweet Italian chicken sausage

1/2 small onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 1/3 cups crushed tomatoes

5 basil leaves, chopped (plus more for garnish)

salt and pepper

1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

4 teaspoons grated Pecorino Romano

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

3. Hollow out the flesh of the eggplant to create a boat using a melon baller or small knife, leaving a 1/2-inch of the skin all around to create a shell.

4. Roughly chop the scooped out eggplant flesh.

5. Drop the eggplant into the boiling water and cook 3 minutes (poking it with a spoon so they stay submerged).

6. Remove with a slotted spoon and set them on paper towels on the counter. Brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking the meat up while it cooks into smaller pieces.

7. Add the onions and garlic and cook on a medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent.

8. Add 1 cup chopped eggplant and cook about 2-3 minutes.

9. Add 1 cup crushed tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook 2 to 3 minutes.

10. Remove from heat and stir in fresh basil.

11. Pour 1/3 cup of crushed tomatoes on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish and place the eggplant boats on top.

12. Season the eggplant with salt and divide the sausage and sauce evenly among the 4 eggplant boats.

13. Top each with 2 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 teaspoon each of Pecorino Romano cheese.

14. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes until cheese is melted and eggplant is cooked through.

Bon Appetit!

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