Eggplant Lasagna with Basil

(2 votes)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium size yellow onion (about 1 cup), finely diced
salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 28 ounce can tomatoes with juice pureed
1 bay leaf
The Eggplant
2-1/2 pounds japanese eggplant, sliced 1/2-inch thick diameter
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper
Ricotta Custard
1 pound ricotta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
3 pinches freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Herb Béchamel
2-1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons unbleached white flour
several leaves parsley sage, thyme, and marjoram bundled together
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Assembling Lasagna
2/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1-1/4 cups provolone cheese, grated
1-1/4 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 pound fresh pasta sheets

Tomato Sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a pinch of pepper, and the basil; sauté over medium heat until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, then add the wine and simmer 1 to 2 minutes, until pan is nearly dry. Add tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

The Eggplant:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Toss the eggplant with the olive oil, the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of pepper. Place the slices on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until slices are soft in center. Cool and slice into thick strips. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The eggplant should be very flavorful.

Ricotta Custard:
Place the ricotta in a mixing bowl and stir in eggs; add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Herb Béchamel:
Heat milk in a saucepan. Melt the butter in a separate pan, add flour, and cook the resulting roux over low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. When the milk is scalded, pour it onto the roux a little at a time, whisking continuously. Add the bundled herbs, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove the herbs just before assembling lasagna.

Assembling the Lasagna:
Toss the cheeses together and set aside 1/3 cup to sprinkle on top during baking. Reserve 1 tablespoon basil to sprinkle on top after baking. When you're ready to assemble lasagna, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking pan, spread 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce and cover it with a layer of pasta. Pour another cup of sauce over the pasta, followed by half the eggplant. Sprinkle with half the mixed cheeses, half the chopped basil, and another layer of pasta. Spread the ricotta custard evenly over the pasta and cover with another layer of pasta. Add a last cup of tomato sauce and then rest of eggplant and basil; follow with the rest of the cheese and a final layer of pasta. Top with the béchamel. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved 1/3 cup cheeses, and bake, uncovered, until the béchamel has set, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with reserved basil.

Notes:
For more intense basil flavor, substitute pesto for the basil. Spread the sauce over the layers of eggplant, then sprinkle with the cheese. You can also make the lasagna without béchamel, using tomato sauce in its place. Double the sauce recipe.


Comments:

Your recipie collection is the best I have found. Congratulations on the variety and ease of making them. Obrigada ( thanks in Portuguese) Ms. Renie Baratz in Porto Alegre - Brazil
renie, brazil


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