Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna
Posting this here as well. This is a great main dish but also good as a vegetable side.
I've been working on this recipe for a while now and am very pleased with the results. (So are my guests!) I specify certain brands beacuse I know they work, and the tomato products for example have no added sugar or corn syrup.
Sicilian Eggplant Lasagna (Robo410 JSET)
1 box Gia Russa Whole Wheat no boil Lasagna pasta (or Barilla no boil)
Extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
2, 24 oz jars Classico Tomato Basil sauce
1, 15 oz can Del Monte Diced tomatoes in juice
1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 carrots, 2 stalks celery, small dice
½ cup dry red wine
Up to 1 tsp ground cinnamon (start with ½ tsp)
Big pinch red pepper flakes
1 eggplant, peeled, large dice, test for acidity, salt and drain if needed (unlikely these days)
1 box frozen chopped spinach
1 lb full cottage cheese
1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese
1 ½ cups grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
Up to ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
9x13 deep lasagna pan (Mario Batali lasagna pan for instance)
Make sauce: sauté in olive oil the diced vegetables and red pepper flakes, lightly salt and pepper. (5-10 min) add tomatoes, continue to sauté…add sauce, red wine, ½ the cinnamon, stir and simmer covered ½ hour or so. (Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary…cinnamon should be noticeable…very Greek/Sicilian)
Thaw spinach, pistol grip dry. Pull it apart into a bowl, add the cottage cheese, mix, add beaten egg, mix, add nutmeg and ½ cup parmesan cheese, mix, set aside.
Peel and dice eggplant. Taste a piece and if very bitter, salt and let drain in a colander. If sweet, sauté in olive oil, adding 2 or 3 ladles of the red sauce, stir and simmer covered 15 min.
Preheat oven 350* F
Assemble: Lightly oil pan (evoo), ladle some sauce into pan and smooth, place 4 sheets of lasagna in pan ladle sauce over top, (lightly salt and pepper) add ½ of the eggplant mixture, a bit more sauce, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, layer of mozzarella, 4 more sheets of pasta, sauce, (lightly salt and pepper), all of the spinach mixture, mozzarella, 4 more sheets of pasta, sauce, remainder of eggplant, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, last 4 sheets of pasta, cover with sauce, (lightly salt and pepper) last of mozzarella cheese, generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake 1 hr. (last 10 min uncovered) remove from oven, cover and let stand at lest 15 minutes to set before serving.
Variations: up to 1 lb of ground meat (beef, meat loaf mix, pork or lamb…I like lamb best) may be browned and added to the sauce. Chopped mushrooms, sautéed in butter (real) may be added to the bottom or top layer of pasta before saucing. Cottage cheese may be replaced with ricotta, and a béchamel flavored with nutmeg and parmesan cheese may be added at the spinach layer as well.