Top | Vegetarian Main Dishes

Eggplant Lasagne

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)


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Introduction

For the person who makes lasagne, the task is not difficult, but it does take time. For the person who eats lasagne, it always feels like a gift. This can be made a day ahead, covered and refrigerated, then baked the next day.

Ingredients

  1. 2 lb. eggplant, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch-thick slices
  2. Kosher or coarse salt
  3. Olive oil
  4. 1 small onion, chopped
  5. 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  6. 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  7. 2 cans (28 ounces each) plum tomatoes, chopped, juice reserved
  8. 1 small bunch basil, washed and chopped
  9. Freshly ground black pepper
  10. 3 sheets fresh egg pasta, or substitute 1 box (8 ounces) dried lasagne noodles, cooked and drained
  11. 8 oz. part-skim mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  12. 8 oz. provolone cheese, thinly sliced
  13. ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Steps

  1. Place the eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle with the salt; let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce. In a large sauté pan, pour in enough oil to cover the bottom. Over medium heat, sauté the onion and red bell peppers until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and their juices and bring the sauce to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is fairly thick. Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped basil; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Blot the eggplant slices dry, then place them on a large baking sheet and brush both sides of the slices with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the slices and bake for another 15 minutes.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Oil a 9-by-12-inch baking dish. Spread ½ cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom of the pan, then cover with a layer of pasta. Distribute a third of the cooked eggplant slices over the pasta, spoon a little sauce over the eggplant, then cover with a third of the mozzarella and provolone slices. Top with another layer of pasta, and repeat the layering process to form three layers in all. To finish the top layer, scatter the grated Parmesan over the provolone and mozzarella cheeses.
  5. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, checking periodically to make sure that the cheeses are not overbrowning on top; if so, cover the pan with foil and continue baking. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.