Serves 4 to 6. Recipe is from Kathleen McCarthy and Anna Ozio.
1 lb. ground Italian sausage
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 to 4 (15-oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
Fresh herbs, chopped to equal about 1 cup
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups flour
1/2 cup fresh, chopped basil leaves
2 eggplants, sliced into rounds
Mozzarella cheese, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste
1. For the sauce, brown the sausage and ground beef together. Drain and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, herbs and seasonings. Simmer, covered, on low for at least 20 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour and chopped basil in a medium bowl. Beat eggs together in another bowl. Using a medium sauté pan, cover the bottom with olive oil and heat. Dip eggplant wheels in egg, then dredge with basil flour. Pan fry on each side until golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the eggplant. You may have to add more oil to the pan when it gets low. Place fried eggplant in a 9x12-inch baking dish. Cover with sauce then cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve over pasta.