I had a cookbook open on my table a few weeks ago when my Grandpa came over. He promptly sat down at the table, flipped a few pages, and said “Yum, this looks good. I love eggplant!”. Ok, Grandpa, I got the hint. So a few days later I made it for him, and it was pretty delicious.
Eggplant Lasagna (from Ultimate Italian cookbook)
1 small eggplant
4 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound zucchini, sliced
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
6-9 sheets of lasagna
2 1/2 cups bechamel sauce
2/3 cup grate parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon oregano
1 1/4 cups milk
2 bay leaves
1 small onion
1 stick butter
6 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cup light cream
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper
Pour the milk into a small soucepan and add the bay leaves. Cut the onion in half and add it to the pan and bring the milk to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool.
Strain the milk into another bowl and rinse the pan. Melt the butter in the pan and stir in the flour. Stir for 1 minute, then slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly. Cook the sauce for 3 minutes, then pour in the cream and bring it back to a boil. Remove from the heat and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
Thinly slice the eggplant, and layer it in a bowl, sprinkling each layer with salt. Set the eggplant aside for at least 30 minutes, and then rinse with cold water and pay dry.
Heat half of the oil in a large pan and fry half of the eggplant until it is lightly browned on each side. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and repeat with the other half of the oil and eggplant.
Heat the butter in the pan and fry the zucchini until golden, about 6-7 minutes.
If you are using dried lasagna noodles, cook them in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drape them over the side of the pot once they are cooked to keep them from sticking together or getting too done.
Now you’re ready to start layering your lasagna. You can make either two or three layers, depending on how deep you want your lasagna to be. Begin with a layer of eggplant and zucchini, followed by the mozzarella cheese, canned tomatoes, and top with 3 sheets of lasagna. Repeat the layers 1-2 more times. Spread the bechamel sauce over the final layer of noodles and sprinkle over the parmesan cheese and oregano. Place the baking dish on top of a cookie sheet and place it in the over. Bake at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden and the lasagna is bubbly.