Basic Tomato Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon each, dried oregano, dried thyme, dried basil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake
dash sea salt, to taste
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, and bring to a bubble. Lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer gently, uncovered, for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and set aside.
1 medium size eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups basic tomato sauce
1/4 cup vegan parmesan
1 cup vegan mozzarella
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
olive oil for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 450°
Wash the eggplant in cold water, and pat dry with a paper towel. Slice the eggplant horizontally into 8 slices, roughly 1-inch thick. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the slices, and rub the oil into each slice using your fingertips, or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lightly oil a baking sheet with the second tablespoon of olive oil. Lay the eggplant slices in a single layer on the baking sheet, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes turning halfway through.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°
Assemble by lightly oiling a 9 x 9-inch baking dish. Set 4 slices of eggplant in a single layer on the bottom of the baking dish. Top each slice with 1/4 cup of sauce. Sprinkle each with parmesan cheese and 1/8 cup mozzarella cheese. Top with another, slightly smaller slice of eggplant, followed by 1/4 cup sauce, a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and 1/8 cup mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle the tops evenly with the panko breadcrumbs, and follow with a light drizzle of olive oil over each.
Bake uncovered in a 350° oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted, and the sauce is bubbling.
Top individual servings with freshly chopped basil. Serve over your favorite pasta, or alone with crusty bread. Enjoy immediately.
Refrigerate any leftovers.