Monday, November 2, 2015

eggplant and zucchini lasagna

Lets all be clear here: I'm a pasta freak. It's in my blood. We ate it six days a week growing up and thats a conservative estimate. But..trying new things, looking for healthy know the drill.

Let me also state that I don't think I've completely perfected this recipe yet. I tried it once with just zucchini, and the second time with eggplant and zucchini and both were tasty, but the consistency and presentation left a little to be desired. So I will share with you my recipe, as well as my suggestions for how to solve those problems. When I get it perfect, trust me, you will know.

eggplant and zucchini lasagna
3 small eggplant (also known as Italian eggplant, the longer skinnier ones) -you can also use one large one
3 medium sized squash or zucchini
1 cup part skim mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup ricotta
1 egg
1 cup tomato sauce (note below)
1 cup bechamel sauce (recipe below)
a handful each of basil and parsley, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper for seasoning
cooking spray

  • pre-heat oven to 375 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
  • slice the eggplant and zucchini horizontally using a mandolin or some impressive knife skills, about 1/8 inch thickness
tip: I left the skins on for the color, just make sure you wash them well, but you can also peel them
  • place eggplant and zucchini on baking sheet, lightly coat with olive oil, salt and pepper on both sides 
tip: be stingy with the oil--you want the veggies to get a little dry as that will help keep the lasagna from getting soggy
  • let roast for about 15 minutes, or until the edges start to brown
  • while cooking, heat/prep your tomato sauce-the trick here is to make the sauce extra thick using tomato paste. a watery sauce will only contribute to a watery lasagna
  • if you are using jarred sauce, simmer it, covered, with extra tomato paste. if you are making your own, drain a bit of the liquid and use more of the tomato chunks, and be generous with the tomato paste
  • combine ricotta, egg, 2/3 cup of the cheese, 2/3 of parsley/basil and salt and pepper in a bowl, stir together and set aside
  • spray a baking pan with cooking spray and spread a little bit of tomato sauce on the bottom, then layer eggplant, bechamel and tomato sauce and dollops of ricotta mixture. use enough of the sauces to cover the layers, but don't over-do it.
  • repeat with squash, alternating the veggies, until you reach the top of the pan
  • layer on remaining ricotta mixture, then sprinkle with the 1/3 cup of mozzarella and basil/parsley you set aside
  • bake, uncovered, until cheese melts and bubbles, about 15 minutes

bechamel sauce
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup fat free milk
1/3 cup cream
salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg

  • whisk together butter and flour until it forms a paste, add milk and cream off the heat and stir in
  • place back on medium low heat and let bubble until it thickens, add seasonings and set aside

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