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Eggplant Lasagna (Vegetarian)

Posted 3/15/2021

This is one of my favorite vegetarian meals. Even the most dedicated meat eater will love this lasagna. I grew up in a meat and potatoes family; I had never tried eggplant, arugula, ricotta, or pecorino. I had no idea what I was missing!! You can substitute spinach for the arugula in the pesto, and parmesan for the pecorino if needed, but these two ingredients really make this lasagna shine. If you only try one new recipe this year, make it this one!

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Prep Time:  45 mins

Cook Time: 60 mins

Additional Time: 5 mins rest

Total Time: 110 mins

Servings:  10-12 servings

 

 

Ingredients

 

10                   oven-ready lasagna noodles

2          jars     marinara sauce (650 ml each)

2          cups   grated mozzarella cheese

1          cup     grated pecorino cheese (or parmesan)

 

Eggplant Layer

3          med    eggplants

1          tsp      salt

3          tbsp    olive oil

 

Spinach Layer

1          tbsp    olive oil

1          med    onion, diced

2          tbsp    minced garlic

200     grams baby spinach, about 4 handfuls

1/4      tsp      salt

1/4      tsp      black pepper

 

Ricotta Layer

454     grams ricotta cheese

1          large   egg

1/4      cup     chopped fresh basil, packed

1/2      tsp      salt

1/4      tsp      black pepper

1/4      tsp      nutmeg

 

Pesto

1/4      cup     toasted almonds, cashews, or other nuts

1          cup     arugula or spinach, packed

1/2      cup     fresh basil, packed

1          tbsp    minced garlic

1          tsp      lemon zest

2          tbsp    lemon juice

1/2      cup     olive oil

1/2      tsp      salt

1/4      tsp      black pepper

           

 

Directions

 

Step 1:  Slice eggplants lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle both sides with salt. Let eggplant sit for 15 minutes then pat down both sides with paper towel. Brush both sides with olive oil. Roast at 400F until golden and tender, about 30 minutes.

Step 2:  Sauté onion in a large skillet until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté a few minutes more. Add spinach, salt, and pepper. Cook until spinach is wilted, remove from heat.

Step 3: In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, egg, basil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Step 4: Brush a 9x13 baking dish with olive oil. Place layers in dish in the following order:

  • 1/4 of marinara sauce on bottom
  • 1/2 of lasagna noodles
  • 1/4 of marinara sauce
  • 1/2 of eggplant slices
  • 1/2 of ricotta mixture
  • all of spinach mixture
  • 1/2 of mozzarella
  • 1/2 of pecorino
  • remainder of lasagna noodles
  • 1/4 of marinara sauce
  • remainder of eggplant slices
  • remainder of marinara sauce
  • remainder of ricotta mixture
  • remainder of mozzarella
  • remainder of pecorino

 

 

Step 5: Cover with foil and bake at 375F for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake about 15 minutes more, until cheese is golden and bubbling.

Step 6: While lasagna is baking, make pesto. Add all ingredients to blender or food processor and blend until desired texture. Add extra olive oil if preferred.

Step 7: Remove lasagna from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Drizzle with pesto and serve with more on the side.

 

 

 

Enjoy!

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