photo: Love + Craft Kitchen
Eggplant makes a great stand-in for pasta and is every bit as satisfying, providing a delicious gluten-free, “amped-up” nutrient option.
Making lasagna requires a bit of time but can prepared ahead – either up to the point of baking or fully baked – then refrigerated or frozen for later use making it a great choice for gatherings or weeknight meals. Use your favorite red pasta sauce with or without meat. Adding sautéed mushrooms, spinach or kale and diced zucchini and/or root vegetables to the sauce in place of meat makes a terrific vegetarian version.
Makes: 1 – 8″x11” baking dish
2 medium eggplants
1 – 2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 – 3 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 1/4 cups red pasta sauce of your choice, with meat or vegetarian
1 ½ cups cottage cheese
1 large egg
1 ½ cups shredded Italian Blend cheese
Optional garnish – fresh basil, oregano, or marjoram leaves
Sweat and Roast the Eggplant
- Wash and dry eggplants. Slice off the stem end, then slice the eggplant into long strips, about ¼ inch thick. Lay the slices on paper towels, and sprinkle Kosher salt over top. Let sit for 30 minutes (“sweat” process).
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil AND spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Rinse the salt off of the eggplant slices and pat dry. Lay the slices in a single layer on the prepared cookie sheet. Place in the oven and roast for 18 – 20 minutes, until just starting to soften and lightly brown.
While the eggplant is sweating and roasting, prepare your favorite red sauce with meat or vegetables. Allow to cool before assembling lasagna.
- Once the eggplant is finished roasting, lower the oven heat to 375°F. Spray an 8″ x 11” baking dish (with sides) with cooking spray.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the cottage cheese with the egg. Set aside.
- Spread approximately ¾ cup of the red pasta sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Layer each of the following in this order in the baking dish on top of that sauce:
- half of the eggplant slices
- 3/4 cup of sauce
- 3/4 cup cottage cheese mixture
- ¾ cup shredded cheese
Repeat in the same order to form 2 layers.
- Place baking dish in oven, uncovered, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until sauce is bubbling around the edges and cheese is very melted on top. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 – 15 minutes before slicing. Garnish with fresh basil, oregano and/or marjoram leaves, if desired.
Cool any left-overs completely before covering to refrigerate or freeze.
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