Eggplant and Spinach Lasagna

Author: Canadian Living

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

Ingredients

  • 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 egg 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
Tomato Sauce:
  • 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

Method

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

%RDI

  • Iron 45.0
  • Fibre 0.0
  • Folate 109.0
  • Sodium 0.0
  • Sugars 0.0
  • Calcium 78.0
  • Protein 0.0
  • Calories 0.0
  • Total fat 0.0
  • Vitamin A 121.0
  • Vitamin C 37.0
  • Potassium 0.0
  • Cholesterol 0.0
  • Saturated fat 0.0
  • Total carbohydrate 0.0
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Eggplant and Spinach Lasagna