Monday, August 31, 2009

Eggplant Lasagne

This recipe can be alternated to have any type of filling in the lasagne, so feel free to experiment.

Now I know a lot of people that do not like eggplant and the biggest problem is most people just aren't sure how to cook it before preparing it. The big secret is to first slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch pieces and put them in a strainer and then sprinkle course sea salt over them for at least 1 hour before cooking them. You can then rinse them off and pat them dry. This helps get out all the acidity from the eggplant and will take away the not nice after taste that can come from that.

Now you will want to make a basic marinara sauce. for this you will need 3 cloves of garlic, a bunch of fresh basil ( dried is fine to but only a tsp if using dried) and a can of died tomatoes, a bottle of strained tomatoes (tomato puree) and a TBSP of tomato paste. and salt and pepper for taste.

So first you put a good glug of olive oil in a pan and let it heat then add your chopped garlic and your chopped basil (add dried basil after you put in the tomatoes) let cook for 2-3 minutes add all the tomatoes and let simmer, add a salt and pepper to taste and let simmer on low on your stove.

For pasta I find your best bet is the fresh pasta you can get, it is relatively inexpensive and you can get it at any Italian grocery store or even at the local supermarket. It is the quickest and easiest way to do it because you can just pop the whole thing in the oven and you don't need to pre cook the noodles!

Now for the eggplant... how I like to do it is add some olive oil maybe 1/4 cup and then fry the eggplant until its is brown on both sides, you will know when to flip when the olive oil has seeped through to the other side of the eggplant.

For cheese you will need 1 cup ricotta, 1 egg, and 1/2 cup parm, mix together

So add some sauce to the bottom of your lasagne pan, then add first layer of pasta, (depending how big your pan is will depend on how much pasta you need) then add more sauce and another layer of pasta, then add cheese mix and then another layer of pasta, you then add thin layer of sauce and you eggplant and then another layer of pasta. you can add lots of sauce to the top and top it all off with some fresh mozza grated or sliced and put on top. Baked at 350 for 35 minutes let sit for 3 minutes before serving!

Great with the Caesar salad!!!

You can also make ahead of time and freeze for an impromptu guest.

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