When I think of eggplant I can't help but remember the times when my mom would make breaded eggplant and convince my brothers and I that we were eating beef! Today my mom would not have to trick anymore! First, I would not fall for that trick. Second, I adore eggplant so much I could eat it everyday. But what I learned from that trick my mom played on me is that eggplant is a great choice for those days when I need a break from eating meat. This eggplant lasagna is a perfect example of that. Heart and comforting but yet light, this dish is a delicious alternative to the traditional heavy lasagna!
For roasting the eggplant:
olive oil to drizzle
For seasoning the eggplant:
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
Approximately 2 generous pinches of salt
Approximately 2 generous pinches of pepper
2 generous pinches of dried herbs such herbs de Provence or oregano
14 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
8 sheets of pasta
1 1/2 cup tomato sauce
lots of fresh basil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 415F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice eggplants lengthwise. Put eggplants on the lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until slices are tender.
Transfer roasted eggplant to a large bowl and season it with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and dried herb. Set it aside. Note: 4 garlic cloves might seem a lot to season the eggplant, but the garlic will actually end up seasoning the entire lasagna once in the oven. That is good specially if you are using a blend store bought tomato sauce.
Cook the sheets of pasta in boiling salted water, a few at a time, just enough so they soften (1 to 2 minutes). Transfer them to a plate.
Preheat oven to 400F. Use a 11x7 (or similar) baking dish to assemble the lasagna. Start with tomato sauce, then pasta, eggplant and cheese. Make sure to add some fresh basil in between the layers. Repeat until you run out of all ingredients. Top with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.