Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lasagna with Ricotta and Eggplant

I ate a lot of Eggplant this summer and here I am craving it again.  I should make my mom's eggplant parmigiana again soon.  There's something about having that dish in the cool weather.  It's especially good leftover in a sandwich on a fresh Italian roll.  Here is another dish that hits the spot on a cold day, especially if you are a fan of eggplant.  Remember the pasta with roasted garlic and eggplant sauce I made this summer?  I had some leftover in my freezer and thought that it would be fantastic in lasagna.  Guess what?  I was right!

Lasagna with Roasted Garlic and Eggplant

1 15 oz carton Ricotta
1 large egg, beaten
approx 1/4 cup fresh parsley
approx 3/4 cup romano cheese, plus extra for sprinkling

1 box no boil lasagna sheets

1 cup shredded mozarella
1 1/2 cups roasted garlic and eggplant sauce, warm
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce, warm (see recipe below)

In a medium bowl combine ricotta, egg, parsley, 3/4 cup cheese and pepper. In a small baking dish ladle in some marinara sauce to cover the bottom of the dish.  Add a layer of no bake lasagna sheets.  Add another layer of sauce and sprinkle with some cheese.  Add about half of the ricotta mixture and spread evenly.  Add a think layer of shredded mozzarella.  Top with another layer of the pasta.  If possible turn the lasagna sheets this time around so the layers alternate (horizontal, vertical) and the layers stay together.  (Sometimes the lasagna sheets are too short and this doesn't work but this is what we always did when we boiled the sheets.) Add another layers of sauce and sprinkle of cheese.  Don't be stingy on the sauce because the moisture is what cooks the pasta.  The second layer will be all of the eggplant sauce and a layer of mozzarella.  Once again add a layer of pasta, marinara sauce and grated cheese.  Top with the rest of the ricotta mixture and more shredded mozzarella.  Top with the final layer of pasta, marinara sauce, cheese and some shredded mozzarella.  Cover with foil.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.  Let settle for 15 minutes before slicing.

Marinara Sauce


1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
4 cloves minced garlic
1 medium onion, diced
3 tsp chopped fresh basil (use less if dried)
1-2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar
extra virgin olive oil


Sweat onions in extra virgin olive oil and then add garlic in oil. Let it cook for a minute or to and then add crushed red pepper and frozen or dried herbs. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar. If using fresh herbs add now. Let it come to a boil and then lower heat. Cook on medium for 30-40 minutes. Taste it and adjust seasoning as needed.

Roasted Eggplant Sauce


2 eggplants, partially peeled (peel every other section so it looks striped), cut into large dice
4-5 tomatoes, cut into large dice
1 large vidalia onion, cut into large dice
1 head of garlic
Fresh basil
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
pecorino romano cheese, grated


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Prepare 3 sheet pans with parchment paper (makes clean up a lot easier) and spread out eggplant and onion over 2 cookie sheets and put the tomatoes on the 3rd. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat.

3. Slice top off of the head of garlic so garlic is exposed. Drizzle with oil, salt and pepper. Wrap well in foil and place in a small oven safe bowl or if you have space on your cookie sheet put it there. (Do not put it directly in oven as the oil make leak out and onto your oven.)

4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and toss and flip so all sides get color. Cook veggies until soft and browned. Tomatoes may come out sooner than the eggplant. Check on the garlic - when a knife can easily pierce the garlic it is ready. The garlic can easily over cook and become burnt and hard. Check every 5 mins afterward if it's not yet ready. Remove everything from the oven and allow to cool.

5. When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze out of the papery skin. It will come right out. When veggies have cooled down add them and garlic to a food processor (you may have to do this in batches and just add to a bowl to combine when it's all blended). If it's very thick drizzle in some oil while the food processor is on. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add torn basil.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.


janice15 said...

sound wonderful..I love eggplant. this is just perfect thank you..

Sare said...

Perfect. I love ricotta and eggplant.