Layers of thin-sliced eggplant replace the meat in this cheesy lasagna recipe. Use the eggplant within a day or two of purchase for the best flavor.
2 (26-oz.) jars tomato, garlic, and onion pasta sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 lb.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons water
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons olive oil
6 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained*
1 (15-oz.) container part-skim ricotta cheese
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
How to Make It
Cook first 3 ingredients in a 3 1/2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat 30 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cream and Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
Peel eggplant, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle slices evenly with salt and black pepper. Stir together eggs and 3 Tbsp. water. Dredge eggplant in flour; dip into egg mixture, and dredge again in flour, shaking to remove excess.
Cook eggplant, in batches, in 1 1/2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and slightly softened. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining oil and eggplant, wiping skillet clean after each batch, if necessary.
Layer 3 lasagna noodles lengthwise in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with one-third tomato sauce mixture and half of eggplant. Dollop half of ricotta cheese evenly on eggplant in dish; top with half of mozzarella. Repeat layers with remaining noodles, one-third sauce mixture, remaining eggplant, and remaining ricotta. Top with remaining one-third sauce mixture and mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 20 minutes before serving.
*6 no-cook lasagna noodles may be substituted. Prepare recipe as directed, reserving last half of mozzarella from top. Bake, covered, at 350° for 45 minutes. Sprinkle top with reserved cheese; bake, uncovered, for 20 more minutes or until golden brown.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Bertolli Vidalia Onion With Roasted Garlic pasta sauce.
I do like the Barilla no cook lasagna noodles, simply because they are thinner. But I found if you do cook them, they work great and of course are bigger when you go to layer. Great recipe. I like the heavy cream. Also you can fry the eggplant in some Italian bread crumbs and flour, for more taste. I grow my own eggplant too. I add an egg and parmesan to my ricotta to help hold it together. Along with pepper and garlic powder.