1 24-oz jar unsalted puréed strained tomatoes or unsalted crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
2 tsp raw honey
1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp dried oregano, divided
3/4 tsp sea salt, divided
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided
1 small eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices and patted dry
1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
3 large egg whites, divided
1 cup plain whole-wheat bread crumbs (TRY: King Arthur Unbleached White Whole Wheat Flour)
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
Preheat oven to 375°F. Mist a medium saucepan with cooking spray and heat on medium. Add garlic and pepper
flakes; sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add tomato purée, vinegar, honey, ½ tsp oregano, ¼ tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Bring to a boil on medium-high, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until reduced to 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard garlic.
Meanwhile, using paper towels, pat eggplant dry. Season with 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt. Line up 3 shallow bowls. To first bowl, add flour. To second bowl, add 2 egg whites and whisk in 2 tbsp water. To third bowl, add bread crumbs, 1 tbsp Parmesan and remaining 1/8 tsp each oregano and black pepper.
Dredge each eggplant slice in flour, then in egg mixture and finish in bread crumb mixture, turning to coat evenly and shaking off excess. Arrange eggplant in a single layer on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Mist slices on both sides with cooking spray. Bake until tender, about 25 minutes total, turning halfway.
In a small bowl, combine ricotta, remaining 1 egg white and remaining 1/8 tsp salt.
Mist an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce on bottom of dish. Top with half of eggplant. Using half of ricotta mixture, spoon a dollop onto each slice of eggplant. Pour remaining tomato sauce over ricotta layer and top with remaining eggplant. Press eggplant down to partially submerge in sauce. Dollop remaining ricotta mixture onto eggplant slices. Sprinkle remaining 1 tbsp Parmesan over top. Bake until ricotta melts and sauce bubbles at edges, about 30 minutes. Let rest for 20 minutes before serving.
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