Thursday, April 29, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

While I do make meat lasagna once in awhile, this is my go-to recipe. It is light and doesn't require running 10k afterward just so you can fit into your pants in the morning.

Preparing the eggplant is the key to this being a really great lasagna. The bigger the lasagna, the more crucial this step. The bigger an eggplant gets, the more bitter the seeds become. Preparing it takes most of the bitter liquid out of the seeds and instead of the eggplant slices getting mushy, they stand up to the roasting and have more of the consistency of lasagna noodles.

Feel free to include whatever vegetables you have lying around. I've used broccoli, fresh and frozen spinach, fresh tomatoes, green beans, etc.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
Serves 8

1 large eggplant, cut vertically into 10 slices

2 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 pound white mushrooms, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
2 T. olive oil
1 large (32 oz.) can whole tomatoes
3 T. tomato paste (I use concentrated tomato paste in a tube)
1 t. sugar
salt and pepper to taste

2 cups low fat cottage cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 T. dried basil
2 T. dried parsley
1 t. fresh cracked black pepper

2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Prepare the eggplant by salting liberally after slicing. Wait 20-30 minutes until all of the excess moisture is drawn from the slices. Rinse with water and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put vegetables onto a roasting pan and toss with 1 T. olive oil. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Set aside. Roast eggplant slices on another baking sheet at the same time.

While vegetables are roasting, heat 1 T. olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, sugar, parsley and basil. Stir occasionally until the tomatoes are broken down and heated thoroughly. Stir the roasted vegetables into the tomato sauce. Adjust flavors (you may need to add a bit more sugar if it is too acidic, or salt if it needs more flavor).

Combine the cottage cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese, pepper, parsley and basil. Make sure egg is thoroughly mixed.

Assemble by putting down a few spoonfuls of the sauce mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Lay 5 slices of eggplant side by side. Cover with half the cheese mixture. Top with half of the sauce. Cover with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers once more, ending with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

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