Place eggplant slices on 2 paper towel lined baking sheets. Cover with paper towel and place one on top of the other. Place a third baking sheet on top and press down placing an empty pot on top to weigh down. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir 2 tablespoons of the oil with pepper, paprika and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Lay eggplant slices in single layer in prepared pans and lightly brush with oil mixture. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes, alternating pans halfway through.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook peppers until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stirring to break up, cook for 5 minutes. Stir in fennel seeds, garlic and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until no pink remains in chicken, about 3 minutes. Stir in strained tomatoes, water and basil leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F. Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9”x13” baking dish. Place eggplant strips in a single layer over sauce, top with 2 cups of the sauce and half cup of the cheese. Top with another layer of eggplant, 1 cup of sauce and another ½ cup of cheese. Layer remaining eggplant, sauce and cheese and bake until golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.
- Serves: 8
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- 2 medium eggplants, ends trimmed and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil, divided
- 1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) pepper
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) paprika
- 1 yellow pepper, stem and seeds removed and sliced
- 1 red pepper, stem and seeds removed and sliced
- 450 g ground chicken
- 1 tsp (5 mL) fennel seeds
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt, divided
- 2.5 cups (500 mL) strained tomatoes
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
- 3 basil leaves, torn
- 2 cups (500 mL) grated parmesan cheese