Sunday Comfort Food – Baked Eggplant with Ricotta and Marinara Sauce

After just returning from a week in Beijing for work, I was really craving some familiar Italian flavors.  And with a wonderfully quiet Sunday ahead, I was left with time to make some simple Italian comfort food.  We have a wonderful little farm market nearby that always has beautifully fresh produce so I let inspiration be my guide – and the decision was simple once I spied the wonderfully fresh, firm eggplant.   I prefer to bake my eggplant rather than fry them – but by all means, feel free to fry the eggplant slices in some olive oil rather than baking.  I also made a very simple marinara sauce (recipe below) but you can make the dish even easier by using good quality bottled sauce.  (I can hear my mother screaming if she ever were to read those last 2 words :o))!  Happy Sunday, all. It is nice to be home.  Buona giornata e buon appetito!

Baked Eggplant with Ricotta and Marinara Sauce


For marinara sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in their own juice

Fresh chopped parsley, about 2 tablespoons

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For rest of dish:

2 large eggplants  – about 1 pound each

Olive oil for brushing eggplant and baking dish

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (15-ounce) container part skim ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided

Fresh basil, chopped – about 1/4 cup

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 small saucepot for making the marinara; 1 medium baking dish


1. Make the sauce:  Heat the oil in the saucepot over medium heat until hot. Add the onion and cook until tender – about 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and saute until just tender – another minute or two.

2. Add the diced tomatoes and the parsley. Stir to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Simmer over low heat, uncovered,  for about 30 minutes until thick. Adjust seasoning.

3. Make the dish:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place on 2 baking sheets.  Brush with olive oil on both sides; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, turning half way through,  until nicely browned.  

4. In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, eggs, 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese, basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. 

5.  Place a layer of the eggplant slices in the bottom of the prepared dish. Top with about 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, about 1/3 of the marinara. Sprinkle with some of the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Repeat layers, ending with the marinara sauce.  Sprinkle with any remaining Parmesan cheese.  Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbling and the top is browned. I place under the broiler for a few mintues at the very end to really crisp up the top. 

6. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving to allow to set. Serve warm and enjoy!

Join the Conversation

  1. I made this dish exactly following the recipe, it was easy and very delicious. It will be on high rotation for me, and prior to this I didn’t particularly like aubergine.

    Will try some more of your recipes, Thank you.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment!! Let us know how other recipes turn out!! Joe

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