Monday, August 23, 2010

Every-Vegetable-My-Boyfriend-Hates Lasagna

I have this problem with eggplant. Really I want to love it and it seems that every time I go into a grocery store I feel tempted by it so I buy it and then I get home, come down off my produce high and remember that I really dislike eggplant. That being said, I really like lasagna and I think it disguises things I don't like really well. So while I'm disguising things, I might as well just go all out and throw in some other things that won't get eaten in this apartment. I think that it turned out really well. Surprisingly well for my first attempt at lasagna (the making of lasagna was always reserved for my mom and I'll admit I called her a couple of times when deciding how this should go). I made it in an 8x8 pan since there are only two of us but the recipe could easily be doubled and put into a 9x13 dish. The eggplant became very tender and retained an eggplant-y flavor without repulsing me. As for the other components, I have always loved pasta, ricotta, spinach and zucchini and I still loved them all together.



And this lovely vegetable is how it became the every-vegetable-my-boyfriend-hates lasagna. But I love zucchini and have gotten him to eat it many times successfully. Though I think both eggplant and zucchini are technically fruits. The only technical vegetable joining the party is spinach...

I discovered this trick just on this recipe. I covered the eggplant slices with a pinch of salt and then let their liquids sweat out onto a paper towel. I don't know if this made a difference because I haven't made this before without sweating them but I do know that I liked eggplant this time around. And don't worry, I rubbed the salt off afterward.
And then comes the spinach (another vegetable that never seems to move around here) mixed with some ricotta cheese and an egg.
This is the process picture of layering sauce, then pasta, then cheesy spinach, then zucchini, then eggplant. They you do it all over again until you run out of food!

And who would have known that humble eggplant could turn into such a delectable Italian masterpiece. I know what you're thinking, "But Trina, eggplant parmesan is also a delectable Italian masterpiece." No. Wrong. I don't like eggplant parmesan. I want to but I can't so I make eggplant lasagna. Case closed.

Ingredients
1 medium eggplant cut in half lengthwise then cut into slices
2 medium zucchini cut into slices
half a box no boil lasagna sheets 
1 15.5 oz can of tomato sauce
8 oz ricotta cheese
Big handful of spinach chopped
1 egg
additional cheese such as parmesan or mozzarella (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place eggplant slices on top of a paper towel and sprinkle with a little bit of salt and let sit for fifteen minutes, then flip and repeat on the other side. Try to wipe off a bit of the salt with another paper towel (or hand). Meanwhile, In small bowl mix together the egg, ricotta and spinach.

2. In a well oiled 8x8 glass baking dish, pour in enough tomato sauce to cover the bottom. Top the sauce with two noodles, spread a little bit of the ricotta mixture on those, toss on some zucchini slices then eggplant slices. Pour enough sauce to cover then repeat using up all of the ingredients and ending with some sauce on top. Sprinkle some cheese on top if desired then cover up with foil and into the oven for 50-60 minutes until bubbly.

For next time: my mom says she also mixes some parmesan cheese into the ricotta mixture. I think this sounds awesome. The more cheese the better really. 


7 comments:

  1. a) i love the name of the dish. ...reminds me of the waitress. did you see it? with keri russell? and she names her pies ridiculous things just like that.

    b) i've had eggplant lasagna before and i think it's delicious! and i can tell yours is ten times better. just because it looks that delicious. of course i kinda like eggplant to begin with, so maybe my opinion doesn't count.

    and
    c) your blog both inspires me to keep up with my blog and to cook more. it also makes really excited to come home and cook with you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love waitress! Bad baby pie! I'm really glad you're going to keep up with your blog too and beyond excited that you want to cook with me when you come back because I'm always so alone in the kitchen.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome name. And I do the same thing. It seems my husband will eat pasta even if it's filled with the things he "hates". Good choice to go with eggplant, too, and have a meatless meal!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello,


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    ReplyDelete
  5. Abby- I'm glad I'm not the only one who enjoys tricking their significant others =)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey There - I found your blog through the Foodie Blogroll, it's great!

    I really connected with this dish because I had a bad experience with eggplant as a kid and never ate it again. Funny, it was disguised in lasagna. lol. Anyway, I started eating and cooking healthy not too long ago and find myself eyeballing eggplant. I think I'm going to try it from your recipe, it looks easy and delicious!

    BTW - I host a healthy, affordable recipe swap every Friday. I would love for you to join in the fun. I just started it a few weeks ago and I'm meeting some great foodies. Hope to see you there! I'm your newest follower, can't wait to read more!

    ReplyDelete
  7. If my recipe doesn't do the trick for you I've heard it is very good fried (what isn't?) and that may be a way for eggplant to win you back. Of course since you seem like a healthy cook, mine may be the better alternative.

    I like fun, healthy and affordable so I will have to check it out. thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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