Eggplant Lasagna

I was flipping through a co-worker’s home decor/homemaking magazine two weeks ago at work when I came across this recipe for Eggplant Lasagna.  It struck a cord with me and I vowed that no matter how complicated it looked or how hard it would be for me to half the recipe I would make it!  So I got all the ingredients and adapted some things I already had and set to work.  It was so delicious that I’m willing to go through all the trouble to make it again.  It is a little long and involved, but it really is scrumptious and healthy.  The eggplant slices become the noodles (and I guess the meat as well), so it feels a lot healthier.  And, really, it’s not as intimidating as it looks.

Makes 8 servings.  Working time 30 minutes, total time 1 hr. 50 min.

2 large bell peppers (1 green, 1 red.  I just used 1 green when I halved this recipe)
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil (I used vegetable oil because we ran out of olive oil!)
3/4 tsp each dried thyme and oregano leaves (I used “Italian Seasoning” which contains thyme and oregano, among “other spices”)
salt and pepper
3 medium eggplants (about 3 lbs), cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices (I found an eggplant that weighed 1.5 lbs at the store)
1 medium onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
5 cups store-bought marinara sauce (about 36 ounces). I used Classico Four Cheese.
16 ounces skim ricotta
1 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (I used the Kraft parm cheese that comes in that green cylindrical container)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves (I used dried ones from a spice can)
8 ounces part-skim mozzarella, shredded

1. Heat broiler.  Roast peppers on a baking sheet, turning occasionally, until blackened, 10 to 15 minutes (It took my oven a little longer and it was only partially blackened, but it worked just fine).  Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes to steam and loosen skin.  Scrape blackened skin from pepper, then seed (the seeds on mine just fell out).  Slice into 2-and-1/4-inch strips and set aside.

2.  Meanwhile, reduce oven heat to 350.  In a small bowl, combine 3 tbs olive oil with thyme, oregano, and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper.  Brush both sides of eggplant slices with oil mixture and place in single layers on 3 baking sheets.  Bake, in batches if necessary, until lightly browned and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes per batch.  I ended up brushing on more of this oil and spice mixture than it called for, I ended up using the whole recipe in this section for half of the eggplant.

3. In a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook onion and 4 garlic cloves with remaining oil (1 tbs) until golden, about 8 minutes.  Add marinara sauce, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, remaining garlic, and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spread about 1 1/4 cups marinara sauce in bottom of a 9×13 in baking dish before assembling 3 layers.  For the first layer: Place one-third of eggplant slices over sauce.  Dollop one-third of ricotta mixture over eggplant, then sprinkle on one-third of mozzarella.  Drizzle with 1 1/4 cups sauce and add half the peppers.  Repeat the same process, layering eggplant, ricotta, mozzarella, sauce, and peppers.  For third layer: Add remaining eggplant, ricotta, marinara sauce, and mozzarella.  Bake lasagna at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes until sauce is bubbling and mozzarella is melted and beginning to brown.



Filed under Life

2 responses to “Eggplant Lasagna

  1. Ellen Harward

    Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to see you at the beach! Ellen

  2. Ellen Harward

    OK….i am hungry now! That sounds worth trying.

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