Italian Food & the Beach

Two of my favorite things. Work took me close to the beach today so after the icky "stuff" was done I grabbed a latte and watched the waves crash for a few hours. There is no better therapy. It was a beautiful day. Cloudy and not too hot.

I came home and made some Italian comfort food. This came together in minutes but tasted like it took hours. A cross between Eggplant Parmesan and Lasagna but pastaless of course ;) Layers of Eggplant, Meatballs, Cheese... super yummy.

Shelly's Eggplant and Meatball Bake

1 Eggplant, sliced
1 cup Tomato Sauce (I used that homemade sauce I made the other day)
6 Meatballs, sliced (I used Foster Farms Turkey Meatballs)
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
2 Tablespoon Parmesan
1 Egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, snipped
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
1/3 cup Mozzarella, shredded
about a Tablespoon of Olive Oil for grilling

Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and BBQ for a few minutes on each side. Layer 1/2 the eggplant in a Pyrex casserole dish. Spoon 1/2 a cup of the tomato sauce over eggplant slices, arrange sliced meatball over sauce.

In a small bowl combine ricotta, Parmesan, egg, basil and seasonings.

Spoon over meatball layer. Top with remaining 1/2 of grilled eggplant.

Spoon remaining tomato sauce over and sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes till bubbly and golden.

Some pics from my afternoon at the beach...

I shared my super cool bento box snacks with this fuzzy guy

Err well I really didn't you know examine "things" so it quite possibly was a girl. Whatever it was it gave my snacks two paws up.