Eggplant is the perfect substitute for meat in your lasagna. I make this a lot in the summer when my eggplants are ripe!
Makes approximately 12 servings
1 cup asiago or provolone cheese, shredded
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 container (15oz) ricotta cheese
1 large bunch spinach (optional)
2 medium eggplants
2 jars (26oz each) of red or white pasta sauce
1 box lasagna noodles (about 12 noodles)
Italian seasoning blend
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Wash eggplant, cut the top and bottom off. Lay the eggplant on its side, and cut ‘rings’ or ‘steaks’ that are about 1/4 inch thick. (If your eggplants are very large around, you may want to cut them down into half circles). On a slightly greased cookie sheet, place the eggplant ‘steaks’ in an even layer. Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with italian seasoning blend. Bake in the oven for about fifteen minutes, or until slightly browned. (You could also cut your eggplant into bite sized cubes, toss with olive oil and seasonings, and brown in oven as directed above. The purpose of the eggplant in this lasagna is to give it a meaty texture, without the meat!)
In a large bowl, combine the first three cheeses together. Reserve about 3/4 cup to the side. Add ricotta cheese to the bowl, and blend well. Clean and finely chop spinach, and add to cheese mixture. In a 9 by 13 inch greased baking dish, cover evenly with pasta sauce (using about a cup). Top with 4 uncooked lasagna noodles. To that, evenly distribute one layer of eggplant ‘steaks’. Add half of your cheese mixture evenly. Repeat these steps one more time – sauce, noodles, eggplant, cheese. Then add the last four noodles, and top with the remaining sauce. Cover dish and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Uncover, add the reserved 3/4 cup of cheese in an even layer, and continue to bake for another twenty minutes – or until cheese is completely melted. Remove from oven and let cool for about fifteen minutes before cutting and serving.
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