Veggie Eggplant Lasagna
I made this lasagna while my niece Sophia was visiting me here in South Africa. It was a really fun bonding experience being able to cook together. After making it we shared this flavorful dish with my husband Terry and friends. It was a hit! This is on my keeper list of recipes that I make often. You can also make this ahead and cook it the next day.
- 2 large eggplant, peeled & sliced longwise into 1/4 inch slices
- salt and pepper
- baking paper
- 2 cups ricotta cheese (my homemade ricotta here)
- 2 eggs
- 3 spring (green) onions, chopped
- 3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup fresh parmesan, shredded
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2-3 carrots, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4-5 medium zucchini, sliced and halved
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- any leftover eggplant, chopped
- 1/2 Tbl. oregano
- 1/2 Tbl. basil
- 1/2 Tbl. thyme
- 1/2-1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 300 grams/ 10 oz. frozen, chopped spinach
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 350 ml./ 12 oz. tomato sauce
- 1 can (390 gm.) diced tomatoes
- salt & pepper
- 2 Tbl. oil (I use macadamia nut oil because it can endure high heat)
Preheat oven to 220 degrees C/ 425 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with baking paper and lay out eggplant slices side by side. You may need 2 trays. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 5 minutes then flip each slice over and bake 5 more mins. Remove from oven and set aside. Lower oven to 190 C/ 375F.
To make cheese mixture: blend ricotta, egg and green (spring) onions.
For veggie sauce: saute onion and carrots in the 2 Tbl. oil until it begins to soften. Add garlic, zucchini, red bell pepper and leftover eggplant, if any. Cook about 5 minutes till softened. Add spinach, tomatoes, spices and wine. Simmer uncovered for about 15-20 minutes until all the vegetables are soft and sauce has reduced a bit. Season with salt and pepper.
To Assemble: 1-Spread 1/3 of veggie sauce in bottom of 9″ x 13″ glass or stone pan. 2-Layer 1/2 eggplant slices, 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/3 mozzarella and parmesan. 3-Repeat layers. 4-Add the last layer of sauce, then top with mozzarella and parmesan. Spray some foil with cooking oil spray and cover dish with foil, oiled sided down. Bake at 190C/375F for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake 10-15 mins more to slightly toast cheese. Let sit for about 10 mins before cutting into squares to serve.