This colourful vegetable lasagna will delight vegetarian guests — and even the most dedicated meat eaters, too — with its rich flavours. You can save time by using 4 cups (1 L) of store-bought pasta sauce instead of making the tomato sauce.
- Portion size 8 servings
- 2 eggplants (about 2-1/2 lb/1.25 kg total)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 lasagna noodles (about 8 oz/250 g)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 bags (each 10 oz/284 g) spinach
- 1/2 cup lightly toasted pine nut (optional)
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 3 cups extra-smooth ricotta cheese
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (10 oz/300 g)
- 1 1/2 cup grated romano cheese
- 1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 1 can plum tomato
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
Peel eggplants; cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices. Sprinkle both sides of eggplant slices with salt. Layer in colander; let stand for 30 minutes.
Tomato Sauce: Meanwhile, in saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, garlic and hot pepper flakes until onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and oregano, breaking up tomatoes with spoon; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until almost tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to cold water. Drain and arrange in single layer between damp towels.
Press eggplant slices firmly to remove liquid. Transfer to paper towels; let dry. Brush with 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the oil; place in single layer on greased foil-lined baking sheets. Bake in 450°F (230°C) oven until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on pans; set aside.
In large pot, cook spinach in batches over medium-high heat, with just the water clinging to leaves and turning once, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain; squeeze out moisture. Chop coarsely. In bowl, mix spinach with remaining oil, and pine nuts (if using); set aside.
In bowl, mix together eggs, ricotta, 2 cups (500 mL) of the mozzarella, 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) of the Romano cheese, pepper and nutmeg. Set aside.
Spread half of the tomato sauce in 13- x 9-inch (3 L) glass baking dish. Top with one-third of the noodles in single layer, half of the spinach mixture, half of the cheese mixture, and half of the eggplant slices, overlapping if necessary; repeat noodle, spinach, cheese and eggplant layers once. Top with remaining noodles and tomato sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Romano cheeses.
(Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until cold. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Or overwrap with heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks; thaw in refrigerator for 48 hours. Remove foil and plastic wrap; add 10 minutes to covered baking time.)
Cover loosely with foil. Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Nutritional facts <b>Per serving:</b> about
- Sodium 917 mg
- Protein 38 g
- Calories 659.0
- Total fat 38 g
- Cholesterol 177 mg
- Saturated fat 20 g
- Total carbohydrate 45 g
- Iron 45.0
- Folate 109.0
- Calcium 78.0
- Vitamin A 121.0
- Vitamin C 37.0