Adapted from nytimes.com/cooking
For some reason over the past few years I have developed an obsession with lasagnas. Of course I always liked them but now I absolutely love them and I hate when restaurants only serve Bolognese lasagnas because I never really liked them that much and because now I’m vegetarian. I found this recipe and since it had eggplant as one of the vegetables I wanted to try it out. One of if not the best lasagna I’ve ever had.
- 1¼ pounds eggplant (1 medium), cut in lengthwise slices about 1/3 inch thick
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ pound mushrooms, cut in thick slices
- 1 large carrot, cut in ½-inch dice
- ½ teaspoon dry ground thyme
- 2½ cups tomato purée
- 7 to 8 ounces no-boil whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 3 ounces mozzarella di bufala or burrata
- 3 ounces freshly grated Parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 450F (232C).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pat the eggplant slices dry with paper towels and toss them in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place them on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, close the oven door and flip the eggplant slices over. Return to the oven for 5 to 10 more minutes or until the eggplant is tender when pierced and browned in spots. Remove the slices from the baking sheet and set aside.
- Toss the mushrooms, carrots and thyme with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the vegetable mixture on the parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring hallway through, until the carrots are slightly caramelized and the mushrooms are tender. Remove from the oven.
- Reduce the heat of the oven to 350F (177C).
- Grease a 13×7-inch baking pan. Stir the mushrooms and carrots into the tomato purée. Spread a small spoonful of the sauce over the bottom of the baking pan. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Top the noodles with a spoonful of sauce then a layer of eggplant slices. Top the eggplant with half of the mozzarella and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of lasagna noodles topped with a layer of tomato sauce and a layer of Parmesan.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the noodles are tender and the mixture is bubbling. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes until the top begins to brown.
Comments: Like I said before, this is one of my absolute favorites. Before my favorite was a spinach lasagna, which I will eventually post, and I never expected to have a competitor. Like all lasagnas, this one is pretty straightforward. What probably takes the longest is roasting the vegetables. The original recipe uses the common mozzarella you use for pizza and such and it says to shred it or thinly slice it. However, because it said FRESH mozzarella, I bought burrata, which is like mozzarella di bufala but with some cream inside. Since I used this instead, I dropped small pieces when needed and used a knife to spread it out a bit. If you prefer regular mozzarella go ahead and use it but I think the original, fresh kind is better. Enjoy!