Wednesday, February 27, 2013

At Home: Eggplant Lasagna

Whether you like traditional eggplant parmesan or lasagna, try this hybrid featured on What Micky Eats...At Home known as Eggplant Lasagna.  This is a great noodle-free spin on a classic Italian comfort dish, and a way to satisfy those with pasta/gluten allergies as well.  It is much easier (and slightly healthier, despite all the cheese) than eggplant parmesan, as you do not coat the eggplant in breadcrumbs and fry them.  Simply layer the eggplant as if they were your lasagna noodles.
Eggplant Lasagna
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • Italian seasoning and garlic powder to taste
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 to 3 large eggplants (depending on size), peeled and cut into long lengthwise slices
  • 16 oz shredded mozzarella cheese 

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the eggplant strips on a baking sheet, coat with a little extra virgin olive oil and roast for 15 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the ricotta, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, egg yolk, Parmigiano Reggiano, some salt and pepper.
- Ladle about ¼ of the sauce into the bottom of a large lasagna pan.
- Lay down enough eggplant slices to cover the bottom in a single layer.
- Top with about ¼ of the ricotta mixture, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, top with a bit more sauce and repeat with another layer of eggplant.
- Continue assembling the lasagna in that order until you've used up all the fillings, ending with tomato sauce on top.
- Sprinkle more shredded mozzarella cheese and Parmesan Reggiano over the top of the dish and cover with foil.
- Bake the lasagna for 30 minutes with the foil on, then remove it and continue baking for another 15 minutes until the eggplant is tender and the cheese is browned.
- Let sit for 10 minutes then serve.

We used a mandolin to cut the strips of eggplant.  We thought the strips were thin enough, and skipped the roasting step, but I highly recommend you do that.  It is great trick to pull excess water away from the eggplant, so that you don't have a soupy mess during the baking phase.  It also helps to impart extra roasted flavor into your lasagna.  Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this cheesy eggplant lasagna and didn't miss the noodles one bit! A great alternative for days when you want less carbs or for those with pasta allergies.

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