I love eggplant parmesan. I love lasagna. I do not necessarily love heavy meals that can’t be scarfed without guilt and/or heartburn unless those meals involve pizza and/or cookies, which have their own special place in my life and in the universe. This lasagna is really a lovely meal to serve, is very cheap to make, and is easy to assemble. Fresh veggies, grain free, a blender sauce, creamy ricotta, earthy eggplant, light and rich all at once. Ahh.
So satisfy your Italian cravings and up your veggie intake. I served it with mixed greens on the side and Parmesan for passing. How will you serve your eggplant lasagna?
EGGPLANT LASAGNA WITH RICOTTA AND PARMESAN
- 2 eggplants, sliced lengthwise (see photo below)
- 1/2 lb Roma tomatoes, seeded
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup light ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/4- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped or torn
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- Parmesan for serving
- salt and pepper
You will probably want to slice your eggplant first, as it’s the only pseudo labor-intensive part of this recipe. Cut the top off of your eggplants so you can stand them sturdily on one end. With a large knife, slice them in 1/4 inch slices from top to bottom (you may instead slice the eggplants horizontally, if you like; comme ci, comme ça). Brush both sides of the slices with 2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then arrange on two baking sheets.
Okay, now preheat your broiler. While it heats up, puree garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper in a blender. Sauce: done! Fabulous! Slide the first baking sheet of eggplant into the oven and broil your rustic slices for 3-4 minutes per side, flipping once. Repeat with the second batch.
While the eggplant cooks, grab a small bowl and combine the ricotta, egg, basil, and another 1/4 each salt and pepper. Mix throughly to combine. When all eggplant slices have been broiled, lower the oven heat to 400. In the bottom of a deep 8″ baking dish or a 9×13″ dish (whichever will hold the length of your eggplant slices), spread half of the tomato sauce. Layer one-third of the eggplant slices over the sauce and top with half of the ricotta mixture. Repeat the eggplant layer and the ricotta layer, using the remaining ricotta. Top with the last of the eggplant, the sauce, the Parmesan, and a few decorative basil leaves if you’re feeling fancy.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, uncovered, until the lasagna bubbles and the top is slightly browned. Take an artful picture of your cat in the meantime.
Remove lasagna from the oven and let cool ten minutes before serving. The mixed greens with oil and vinegar really were a perfect accompaniment. We had a few chicken breasts left over from the night before, so we had those, too. The greens alone would have been fine. This meal makes a very pretty and light lunch or dinner, all while being easy on the wallet and waistline. Enjoy!