Eggplant Pasta-Free Lasagna

Found another use for my eggplants 😊🍆! I hear people all the time say, what can I do with this vegetable?  Well, here you go. This lasagna is delicious, packed with nutrition and you won’t miss the traditional pasta– completely gluten-free!  Eggplants have a mild flavor that takes on whatever herbs, spices or flavorings you’re using. It is actually very versatile and quite nutritious. 

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant thinly sliced (1/4 inch strips or a little thicker)
  • 1 lb ground beef (or Italian sausage)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach defrosted
  • 25 oz jar marinara sauce
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil

Directions

  1. You may choose to “sweat” your eggplant slices or not. Some prefer to take this step because they believe it reduces some of the bitterness and also helps absorb oils when cooking. It will extract some of the liquid too. The choice is yours!  I have read that the varieties of eggplants we typically eat today are less bitter than those generations before used.  Anyway, if you take this simple step you will generously salt your eggplant slices and place in layers in a colander over the sink for about 45 minutes. Liquid will drip off. Then wipe eggplant clean before using.
  2. Oil 9×13″ baking dish. Preheat oven to 350′
  3. Heat oil in a skillet. Sauté onion and garlic until soft.
  4. Add meat and cook until browned.
  5. Add herbs and tomato sauce to meat and simmer for 10 min.
  6. In a separate bowl mix ricotta cheese with lightly beaten egg and 1/4 cup of your Parmesan cheese
  7. Scoop out a little sauce to thinly cover bottom of baking dish.
  8. Place a layer of eggplant on top.
  9. Spread 1/2 ricotta mixture over eggplant.
  10. Scoop and spread 1/2 meat mixture next, then sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella.
  11. Then arrange another layer of eggplant and repeat ricotta, meat and lastly remaining shredded cheese.
  12. Bake for 50 min uncovered. Cheese will be browned and lasagna bubbling