James Carrier
Makes 4 servings

Notes: Look for tubes of cooked polenta in the supermarket refrigerator case; they are often stocked near the cheese.

How to Make It

Step 1

Rinse eggplant and trim off and discard both ends. Cut eggplant crosswise into 8 equally thick slices. Cut polenta crosswise into 8 equal rounds. Lightly coat a 14- by 17-inch baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Arrange eggplant and polenta slices in a single layer on sheet. Lightly coat tops of slices with more cooking spray.

Step 2

Bake in a 425° regular or convection oven until eggplant is soft when pressed and polenta is heated through (cut to test), 20 to 25 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, in an 8- to 10-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, stir onion, garlic, and basil occasionally until onion is lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomato purée and 1/4 cup water; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until flavors are blended, 5 to 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is done.

Step 4

When eggplant is soft, sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheeses equally over eggplant and polenta. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.

Step 5

On each of four dinner plates, place 1 eggplant slice (use largest slices first) and drizzle with 1 tablespoon sauce; top with 1 polenta slice and 1 tablespoon sauce. Repeat until all slices are used. If desired, garnish each stack with rosemary sprig. Spoon remaining sauce around base of eggplant stacks. Serve with breadsticks.

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