"Food is essential to Life; therefore make it good."- S Truett Cathy

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Eggplant Lasagna

Tonight we had three eggplants to use and so we decided to make a lasagna with eggplant slices in place of the noodles. It's chock full of veggies with a nice meaty sauce and the traditional ricotta cheese layer, yumm!

2 large or 3 small eggplants, cut into thin slices lengthwise
1 onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
2-3 cloves fresh garlic
8-10 mushrooms sliced thin
1 lb ground beef

1 jar your favorite marinara sauce
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
dried oregano, basil and pizza seasoning blend to taste
8 oz ricotta cheese
8 oz cottage cheese
handful of shredded parmesan
1 egg
additional dried spices
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 350
Slice the eggplants thin (1/4 inch or less) and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt/pepper. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

To a large skillet add olive oil about three turns around the pan and heat on medium. Add chopped garlic, onions, green pepper and mushrooms. Stir to coat in the oil and cook until starting to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Push all the veggies to one side of the pan and to the other side add ground beef, cook until no longer pink using a wooden spoon to break it up as much as possible.  When the beef is close to done stir the veggies into it to finish cooking. Drain if you need too at this point. Add the jarred sauce and fire roasted diced tomatoes and allow to simmer. Season with dried spices tasting as you go. Turn off the heat and finish prepping your assembly line. 

Mix the ricotta, cottage cheese, parmesan and the egg in a bowl. Add some oregano and basil and black pepper to the cheese mixture. 

Assemble the lasagna: in a rectangular baking dish layer sauce, eggplant slices, cheese, more sauce, eggplant, cheese and then the remaining sauce. Top with mozzarella to cover and a sprinkling of more parmesan if you like. 

Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes until bubbly and the cheese has formed a nice browned crust. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting for easier slicing. It's a one dish meal for us, we just had some garlic toasts on the side as we were too tired to chop salad! 

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