Heirloom Tomato and Eggplant Lasagna

When the Farmer's Market opens in my area and the eggplants begin filling their baskets, it won't take me long to bake this lasagna -- It's delightfully flavored, filled with nutrients and seasonal goodness. 31Daily.com
When the Farmer’s Market opens in my area and the eggplants begin filling their baskets, it won’t take me long to bake this lasagna — and it will show up on my menus throughout the summer. It’s delightfully flavored, filled with nutrients and seasonal goodness. And most usually, I’ll make 2 and freeze one (or two, or three) for the fall.

Ingredients:

12 no boil lasagna noodle sheets
6 cups homemade tomato sauce or (2 jars of store-bought spaghetti sauce in a pinch!)
2-3 large Heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced (combine golden yellow and brilliant red varieties)
1 bunch spinach leaves (veins removed)
1 large eggplant, sliced paper-thin

Ricotta Cheese Spread:
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 15-ounce container part skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, leaves stripped from stems
1/2 teaspoon dried chili peppers
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Make Ricotta Cheese Spread

Combine ricotta cheese, egg, Italian parsley, oregano, garlic, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Set aside.

3. Spray a 13 x 9-inch glass pan with nonstick spray if you’re serving a crowd (or teenagers) or two smaller glass pans if you aren’t. One for tonight, another for later.

4. Assemble lasagne.

Ladle 1/2 of tomato sauce in the bottom of the pan. Then place 3 no-boil lasagne pasta sheets on top. This is your foundational layer.

Layer as follows: (You should have 3 complete layers; beginning with 3 sheets of lasagne)

  • Tomato sauce
  • Eggplant slices
  • Tomato slices
  • Ricotta cheese mixture
  • Spinach, layered with lightly overlapping leaves
  • Light sprinkling of mozzarella cheese

Continue layering lasagna 3 times. Top with remaining tomato sauce, three slices of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

5. Cover baking pan with foil and bake at 375° for about an hour. Remove foil, add additional sprinkling of mozzarella cheese and continue baking another 15 or more minutes until the cheese has melted, is slightly browned and the lasagne is bubbling.

Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Here is another of our favorite lasagne recipes: Farmer’s Market Vegetable Lasagna

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