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Nonna's Stuffed Eggplant

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Stuffing:
1 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated Romano cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella
1/3 cup toasted pinenuts (optional)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and black pepper
 
Eggplant:
1 medium eggplant, cut in ¼-inch slices
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups Italian breadcrumbs
3 eggs, beaten
Vegetable oil for frying 
 
½ cup Romano cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
 
Mix all the Stuffing ingredients in a bowl, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. If desired, drain the eggplant slices in a colander by salting and pressing down with weight, like the lid from a cast-iron skillet. Heat oil in a skillet. Spread breadcrumbs on a plate. Dredge eggplant slices in the eggs and then in the breadcrumbs. Fry slices in the oil until golden brown, then drain on paper towels and let cool enough to handle.
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Setting fried eggplant slices on a flat surface, fill each in the4 center with about 2 tablespoons of stuffing and roll up. Pour about half the sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish, spreading to completely cover. Set the stuffed eggplant rolls atop the sauce, then cover with the remaining sauce and the Romano cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, then top with mozzarella and bake until melted and bubbly, 3-4 minutes more. Serve piping hot. Serves 4-6.
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