Layered, lasagna-style casserole of roasted eggplant slices, vegetarian primavera sauce, and three cheeses.
- For the Eggplant Lasagna "Noodles"
- 4 or 5 Italian eggplants (2 1/2 pounds) cut lengthwise into 1/2 –inch slices - you should have 5 good slices per eggplant plus a few smaller end pieces.
- For the Sauce:
- Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (3-4 large cloves)
- 1 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (I recommend San Marzano or Organic)
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- Vegetables for the Sauce
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced (if using a food processor cut carrots into chunks first)
- 1 pound white mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and chopped (if using a food processor cut mushrooms into quarters first)
- 3 cups of chopped broccoli tops, from 2 broccoli crowns
- 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese (reduced fat is fine)
- 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese - about 2/3 cup - plus more for sprinkling on top (I recommend Parmigiana Reggiano)
- Optional Garnish: Lots of chopped fresh basil leaves (adds great flavor!)
- Make the Eggplant Noodles: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Position oven racks in the top and bottom positions. Lightly oil two jellyroll pans. Divide eggplant slices between the two pans, laying them out in a single layer. Brush the tops with olive oil (about 3 tablespoons total) Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt per tray, and season with some fresh ground pepper, to taste. Bake in the top and bottom shelves of the oven for 30 minutes, switching the position of the trays half way through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Caramelize the Carrots and Mushrooms While the eggplant is roasting, heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chopped carrots and mushrooms and cook, over medium heat, for 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently and pressing them down into the pan with the back of a spatula, until they're lightly browned. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Make the Sauce While the vegetables are caramelizing, make the sauce. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil into a large saucepan or dutch oven. Add the chopped garlic and red pepper flakes. Turn up the heat and when the garlic starts to sizzle a bit, lower the heat to a simmer and simmer, stirring, for 30-40 seconds (don't let it brown) and then pour in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and basil. Simmer sauce, partially covered, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir carrot-mushroom mixture and chopped broccoli into the sauce and set it aside.
- Assemble the Lasagna Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a medium-sized casserole dish. Spread 3/4 cup of sauce into the bottom of the casserole. Arrange half the roasted eggplant slices on top (the arrangement will depend on the size of your eggplant and your casserole dish - see the photo of how I did it) Add half the remaining sauce on top of the eggplant. Arrange half the mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan evenly over the sauce layer. Arrange the remaining eggplant slices on top. Add the rest of the sauce. Finish with the rest of the cheeses.
- Cover the casserole with a double layer of foil and bake in the middle of the oven for about 55 minutes, until the lasagna is heated through and the cheese is melted. If you like your cheese browned, remove the foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking time. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice into portions with a sharp knife, and serve with parmigiana cheese and fresh basil sprinkled on top.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
- Category: Vegetarian Main Course
- Cuisine: Out of This World