Eggplant Lasagna

24 Jan

I’ve always wanted to try Eggplant Lasagna, but just hadn’t gotten to it.  After we got eggplant at a recent Market on the Move event, I decided it was time to try it.  Now, I have made Moussaka, so I know how to prepare the eggplant.  Then, I decided to take my favorite Lasagna recipe from Daily Cynema, use the meat sauce and cheese filling, subbing the roast eggplant in place of the noodles. We did a row of 4 slices of eggplant for each layer.  I didn’t get a real good picture showing how the eggplant looked, but you can almost see how in the 2 pictures here.

My older daughter enjoyed working on this with me, and we all enjoyed eating it!Layering the Eggplant Lasagna Eggplant Lasagna

Eggplant Lasagna

What you need:

2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise into 1/2″ slices, outer peel removed, if desired
Salt
Olive oil
1 pound ground beef**
1 small onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
1 large jar (45 oz) spaghetti sauce
1 egg
1 15 oz container ricotta or cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon oregano

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and set on paper towels for 15-20 minutes to let them drain.  Pat tops with a paper towel.  Spray or brush each side of the eggplant slices with olive oil and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake in oven for 10 minutes, flip slices over and bake for another 10 minutes, until they are tender and slightly brown.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat.  Add the onion and bell pepper, and continue to cook until soft.  Pour in all but 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce.  Reduce heat to low, and simmer.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg.  Mix in ricotta or cottage cheese, spinach, 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella, 4 tablespoons of the grated Parmesan, and the oregano.

In a small bowl, mix the reserved 1 cup of spaghetti sauce with the remaining 1 cup shredded mozzarella and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan.

Pour 1/3 of the meat sauce into a 13 x 9 baking dish.  Put down 1 layer of the roasted eggplant.  Next, spread 1/2 of the cheese/spinach mixture over the eggplant.  Then, spread the next 1/3 of the meat sauce.  Lay down another layer of roasted eggplant.  Spread the other 1/2 of the cheese/spinach mixture over the eggplant, then the last 1/3 of the meat mixture.  Lay down the final layer of roasted eggplant.  Spread the sauce and cheese mixture over this final layer.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until bubbly.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  Slice and serve.

**Note: If you would like to make this meatless, use diced mushrooms or zucchini/yellow squash in place of the ground beef.

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