22 October 2007

eggplant & spinach lasagne

i've never made lasagne before and i have no idea why! this was insanely easy (though slightly time consuming). I made a quick marinara sauce (cheating and using a can of tomato sauce), and added some frozen spinach and leftover broiled eggplant cut into chunks. I start by sauteeing the yellow onion (diced finely) in vegetable oil over medium heat until they turn clear and start to carmelize. In the last minute or so of cooking the oinons, add minced garlic. Add the tomato sauce and tomatoes and let simmer. Add the eggplant and spinach (sauteed to remove moisture).

For the eggplant, I cut them into circles about 1/2 inch thick or thinner. Sprinkle with kosher salt and let them sit for at least 20 minutes. The salt pulls out some of the moisture in the eggplant which is bitter. Mine were broiled (coat in olive oil, broil 10 minutes, flip and broil on the other side for 15 minutes) which i think gives it a deeper flavor, but they should do fine if you just sautee them on each side for a few minutes.

The cheese mixture is simple. Mix the ricotta and half of the mozzarella with 1 egg. For the lasagne noodles, because the sauce is a tiny bit watery, i only cooked the noodles a little more than halfway (if the package says cook for 9 minutes, cook for abotu 5 or 6).

First, put a tiny bit of sauce in the bottom of the caserole dish to coat the bottom. Then place 3-4 noodles in the pan, overlapping a little bit. Spread a thick layer of cheese on top of the noodles, then another layer of sauce. Add more noddles, and repeat until the dish is full. The last layer should be tomato sauce followed by the other half of the mozzarella, and a little parmesan.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 425, then another 10 with the foil off. You should probably let the lasagne cool a little before cutting, but if you can't wait, i understand! this stuff is yummm!

the sauce ingredients
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 - 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large can of tomato sauce
2 medium sized tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 tsp sugar
red pepper flakes
1 eggplant, salted, rinsed, broiled, and cut
cut spinach, sauteed over medium heat to reduce moisture

the cheese mixture ingredients
15 oz ricotta cheese
1/4 lb mozzarella, shredded
1 egg

the topping:
1/4 lb mozzarella, shredded
parmesan cheese

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