Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Eggplant Parm Lasagna

I made this recipe awhile back and Mike has been requesting it ever since.  It is a very simple recipe and great to have as a comfort food with this snowy winter weather.  I wouldn't say it is the healthiest meal that I have made but, it is definitely worth the little extra carbs/calories.  Since I winged this recipe I am going to do the best to get exact measurements but, I eyeballed a lot of stuff for this recipe.  I also made it in a small 8x8 dish because it was just for Mike and myself but, it was a tight fit.  Next time I am going to put it in a 9x13 dish to have more room for all the goodies.

What you need:
  • 1 medium/large eggplant
  • 3 cups of bread crumbs (I used seasoned bread crumbs)
  • 1+ cups Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lbs ground turkey or beef
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 jars of your favorite pasta sauce (or if you are really ambitious, homemade)
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 8oz ricotta cheese
  • salt and pepper

    Peel the eggplant and cut into 1/4 inch rounds.  Place the slices into a bowl of cold salt water and let them hangout in there for a couple of minutes.  This helps the take out the bitterness of the eggplant.  Take the eggplant out of the water (discard the water) and pat the eggplant dry.

    Beat two eggs in a good size bowl, set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix the bread crumbs with 1 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

    Dip the eggplant slices one at a time into the egg wash then into the bread crumb mixture.  Place the breaded eggplant onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray (I needed two cookie sheet to fit all the eggplant).  Repeat this process until all the eggplant is dressed and ready for the oven.  Put the cookie sheets into a preheated 350 degree oven for 5 minutes then flip the eggplant and cook for 5 more minutes. 

    While the eggplant bakes, cook the ground beef/turkey in a non-stick sprayed pan.  Add Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper.

    In a 9x13 casserole dish spray with non-stick cooking spray and spread a thin layer of tomato sauce.

    On top of the sauce layer the baked eggplant, slightly over lapping.

    Gently spread a coat of ricotta (about 4 oz) on top of the eggplant and put another layer of tomato sauce.

    Sprinkle with Parmesan (eye ball it).  Next put a layer of ground beef or turkey, use about half.  Top the beef with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and then another layer of tomato sauce.  Then eggplant, 4 oz ricotta, tomato sauce, parm, rest of the beef, 1/2 cup mozzarella (you are almost done).  Place another layer of eggplant, tomato and top with the rest of the mozzarella.  I like a good thick layer of cheese on top.  We didn't have enough cheese for my liking (and we were out of mozzarella) so, I used a little bit of cheddar and it was delicious!

    Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is all melty and bubbly
    Look at all those yummy layers!

    Get a heavy duty spatula to get it out of the dish because it is HEAVY!  My poor spatula looked like it was going to snap in two.  It is really filling and the leftovers (according to Mike) are really good. 

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