While at the market last week, I picked up a beautiful medium sized eggplant. My plans were to roast it with other veggies. Well after I stuck it in my fridge, I completely forgot about it. That happens sometimes, especially when I go days without cooking cause of my crazy schedule.
Well on Sunday, I finally noticed it tucked in behind my lettuce and I really didn't want it to go to waste. So I thought about making one of my go-to recipes, but I just wasn't in the mood. What I was in the mood for was a lasagna and I had all the fixings to make one, except for the pasta.
So I decided to try something new by making an eggplant lasagna, substituting the pasta with the eggplant. The whole time it was baking in the oven, I just kept wishing that when it came out of the oven it would taste good. I really didn't have a back-up plan for dinner if things fell apart.
When I took it out of the oven, it smelled amazing and after my first bite, I was very happy. Pairing it with a side salad made it even better. It turned out so yummy, so I've decided to share my recipe with all you lovely people out there. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
By the way I usually cook for myself and only make enough leftovers to last 1 to 2 days. So if you are making this for more then 2 people, just double the recipe. Also I made my own tomato sauce and I've added the recipe at the bottom.
1 large eggplant
2 cups of basic tomato sauce
Fresh mozzarella (sliced)
Pecorino Romano (grated)
Slice the eggplant into 9 pieces about 1/2 and inch thick. Lightly season each piece with salt and pepper and place on an oiled baking sheet, side by side. Drizzle some oil on top of each eggplant (Make sure not to put to much oil, the eggplant can absorb a lot of oil). Bake the eggplant at 450 degrees F until the slices begin turning a deep brown on top, about 12-15 minutes. I like to flip them half way, so that both sides get browned. Remove the eggplant from the oven and let them cool.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. In a baking dish, pour a small amount of tomato sauce at the bottom of the dish. Place 3 slices of the eggplant next to each other on the dish. Over each slice, spread the ricotta cheese and then place slices of the mozzarella on top. Layer with some more sauce and then continue with another layer of eggplant slices and cheese. Once you have finished layering then top the lasagna with thin slices of mozzarella, parmigiana-reggiano and the pecorino romano cheeses.
Bake uncovered until the cheese melts and the tops turn light brown, about 20 minutes.
1/4 cup extra-virgen olive oil
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme leaves (you can use 1 tablespoon of fresh leaves)
I small carrot grated
1 (28-ounce) can peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices saved
Freshly chopped rosemary and basil (about 1 tablespoon of each)
In a medium sized saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook an additional 5 minutes, until the carrot becomes soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower then heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the sauce thickens. When the sauce is almost done, drop in the rosemary and basil and stir for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.