Eggplant Lasagna

Total Time:
1 hr 10 min
Prep:
10 min
Cook:
1 hr

Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise 3/4-inch thick (8 slices)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided plus more for baking dish
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, divided
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped oregano leaves
  • 2 cups Nona's Marinara Sauce, recipe follows
  • Nona's Marinara Sauce:
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly picked oregano leaves
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Arrange sliced eggplant in a single layer on 2 sheet pans. Brush on both sides using 3 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the eggplant until it is soft and golden. Turn slices halfway through, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the sliced mushrooms. Saute until soft for about 7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and chopped thyme. Cook for another 2 minutes. Once the mushrooms are cooked remove and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl add the ricotta, eggs, 1/2 cup Parmesan, oregano, mushrooms, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix well. Brush an 8-inch baking dish with oil.

Spread half of the marinara sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Lay 4 slices on top followed by the ricotta mixture. Lay another 4 slices of eggplant and finish with marinara sauce. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Bake until golden brown, at 350 degrees, for 30 minutes.

Nona's Marinara Sauce:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel 5 cloves garlic and place them in a square of foil. Sprinkle the cloves with salt and pepper and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Wrap up the foil and place it directly on the oven rack. (Be sure that the foil packet is secure so no oil will leak out.) Roast the garlic until it's brown and tender, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool enough to touch and squeeze the garlic from the skins. Set aside.

Saute onions and carrots with the oil in a medium saucepan. Add tomato paste and stir well. This will cook off the tomato paste and give a nice orangy color. Cook for about 10 minutes. When vegetables are softened add the roasted garlic, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and stir together until incorporated. Pour in the tomatoes. Fill the empty can with water and add it to the pan. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour, uncovered. Stir occasionally. Once sauce is ready carefully pour it into the food processor and puree until smooth.

Tips:

- Pour into ice cube trays and freeze for future use. By putting them in ice cube trays then popping them out into a resealable bag you can control how much you want to use each time - easier to manage.

- Since tomatoes can be very acidic, using carrots and roasted garlic brings a sweetness to the marinara.

Yield: 3 cups


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Pairs Well With
Sangiovese

Bright, fruity Italian red wine

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    28 Reviews
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    OK I agree it is light on flavor. I will add orange zest and maybe some thyme
    Pretty good they really smell like oranges! A little light on flavor though. I fused this recipe and the sauteed green beans recipe together to spruce them up.
    I don't normally like green beans, but I liked these! My husband said the same thing.I cut the recipe in half, but still used the whole orange rind. Perfect!
    Absolutely loved this recipe. It is very simple, and the orange is more to brighten the dish than to really make a change in the flavor. We added some minced garlic to the water when cooking. Will definitely use this as a go-to side dish!
    We couldn't taste the orange flavor either. Although the green beans were cooked perfectly. I think I need to change the way I cook my green beans to this method.
    We couldn't really taste the orange in the beans
    My husband who is very particular, just made that statement at the Christmas Dinner Table. He then belched loudly and rubbed his belly. I love to please my man.
    I don't even like green beans and I loved this recipe. The oraagne really changes the flavor
    I wanted to have green beans for our Thanksgiving dinner but they looked so yucky at the store. So I bought Sugar Snap Peas instead. The light taste of the orange worked perfectly. I just reduced the cooking time on the peas a little from the beans so they still had a "snap". This is a great recipe! Thanks and YUIM-M-M-M-O. I'm glad I tried it out in advance to make sure it would work. I'm making it for our big dinner!
    This recipe was easy and delicious! this was such a good, healthy option as opposed to green bean casserole! the kids loved it too!
    Made this recipe for Thanksgiving Dinner. It was very easy to make and tasted delicious. Everyone at dinner raved and wanted more.
    This recipe was very simple and delicious. And it looked beautiful on the table. I followed it to the tee, and it came out Perfect. It had a great citrus flavor and by adding the salt after the cooking process, we seasoned to taste and did oversalt. It made a serving for three in my house, with only a little leftover ( that is how much we loved it!). The leftovers weren't enough for another side, so I warmed them up with a can of summer corn - Yum - O!
    I really like this recipe but I tweaked it a bit to increase the orange so it was a lighter dish on my family's thanksgiving menu.
     

     
    First-I used mandarin oranges instead of regular ones (a bit harder to work with but they're sweeter which I think works better)
     
    Second- I used the whole orange. Zested the peel, then cooked the peel with the green beans and used the juice as the cooking liquid.
     

     
    Everyone liked it, and you can use as much or as little as you like. Also-don't expect the orange to be strong-it's an essence, with a great aftertaste which makes the dish very light.
    The one change I made was instead of using pieces of the orange peel, I grated the orange over the dish which gave it more of the orange flavor. I made it as a side dish for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it. Nice light and fresh side dish.
    I followed the recipe precisely, but I didn't taste much orange flavor. Otherwise, it was pretty easy.
    Great side dish to chicken or turkey that issimple to make quickly.
    this tasted like boiled green beans. no flavor of orange at all. which really threw me b/c I read the reviews before I made it and followed the recipe exactly. Next time I will make an orange reduction sauce
    What a great change for green beans. I was reluctant to try this, thinking that the orange would over power the beans....it did not. It turned out perfectly. I will make again!!!!
    Overall, really great, however the orange I feel had little effect and a bit too much butter recommended, but other then that my favorite dish for thanksgiving!
    Why didn't *I* think of this!?! An absolute keeper (finished with fleur de sel and ground pepper). Excellent!
    Frequently make this as a side to roast turkey or chicken.
    It is even better if you reduce spme fresh squeezed orange juice and put that on top
    We loved all the food from this episode. My huband who is not a chef loved helping and raved to all his friends about this dinner.
    this was very ordinary. Nothing special at all.....just another quick easy way to cook green beans.
    I made this recipe and instantly the heavens parted, the bright light shined down and the angles began to sing. It was a huge hit with my family.
    This must taste really good
    I thought this was an easy, refreshing way to have my green beans! My mother-in-law was impressed.
    This was so easy to make and so yummy.
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