Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Ricotta Lasagna

Boy, do I have an amazing lasagna recipe for you!

This is sure to please vegetarians and omnivores alike. You could even make it gluten-free if you choose gluten-free lasagna sheets. Wow, how versatile ­čśë

I baked this last weekend and it lasted my husband and me the entire week. I love these kinds of recipes because you make it over the weekend, and you have leftovers for quick lunches or dinners.

It takes a bit of time to prepare on the first day, but it is so worth it. After that, you just need to throw the leftovers in the microwave for about two minutes.

This is actually the THIRD time I’ve made this recipe–obviously a keeper, and a big hit in our household.

I have not tried this, but my sources say…If you want a make-ahead meal, you can follow all the steps as they are listed until you get to the part where you bake the assembled lasagna. Be sure all the components are cooled completely before storing the un-baked lasagna in the refrigerator or freezer. Bring to room temperature before baking, covered in foil, at 325 degrees F, 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments!

*Full recipe at the bottom of this post.

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the cherry tomatoes on a large baking sheet along with the thyme, oregano, garlic cloves (still in the skin), two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.

Roast until the tomatoes burst, about 35 to 45 minutes.

Brush the inner sides of the eggplant with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and season the outsides of the eggplant the same way.

Then roast eggplant next to tomatoes until soft, about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your eggplant.

While those are in the oven, make sure to soak your lasagna noodles. After about 5 minutes, strain out the water and place the sheets of pasta on paper towels to dry. This keeps them from sticking to each other.

Let the tomatoes cool slightly. Remove the skins from the garlic and puree┬áthem in a food processor with the tomatoes and basil until you reach your desired consistency–I like my sauce just a tiny bit chunky. Transfer┬áthe sauce to a bowl and clean your food processor as you will need it for the eggplant ricotta mixture next.

When the eggplant has cooled, spoon out the flesh and add it into the food processor along with the ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, egg yolks, salt and pepper. (If you want to add a spicy kick, add some cayenne or red pepper flakes here as well.)

Puree the mixture until smooth and season with more salt and pepper.

Ladle one-third of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Layer pasta sheets on top, followed by one-half of the eggplant, more pasta sheets, tomato sauce and 1/2 of the mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of pasta sheets, followed by the remaining eggplant, more pasta sheets and the remaining tomato sauce. Top the lasagna with the remaining mozzarella.

Bake about 40 minutes, to one hour at 400 degrees F.

Let cool 10 to 20 minutes before serving.

Happy Eating! ­čÖé

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Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Ricotta Lasagna

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 5 pints cherry tomatoes, washed
  • 1-2 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 6-9 cloves garlic in skins (depending on how much you like garlic!)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 medium/ large firm eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn
  • Cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles (I like Barilla)
  • 2 pints ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place cherry tomatoes on a large baking sheet along with the thyme, oregano, garlic cloves (still in the skin), two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast until the tomatoes burst, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  3. Brush the inner sides of the eggplant with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and season the outsides of the eggplant the same way. Then roast eggplant next to tomatoes until soft, about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your eggplant.
  4. While those are in the oven, make sure to soak your lasagna noodles. After about 5 minutes, strain out the water and place the sheets of pasta on paper towels to dry. This keeps them from sticking to each other.
  5. Let the tomatoes cool slightly. Remove the skins from the garlic and puree┬áthem in a food processor with the tomatoes and basil until you reach your desired consistency–I like my sauce just a tiny bit chunky. Transfer┬áthe sauce to a bowl and clean your food processor as you will need it for the eggplant ricotta mixture next.
  6. When the eggplant has cooled, spoon out the flesh and add it into the food processor along with the ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, egg yolks, salt and pepper. (If you want to add a spicy kick, add some cayenne or red pepper flakes here as well.) Puree the mixture until smooth and season with more salt and pepper.
  7. To Assemble: Ladle one-third of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Layer pasta sheets on top, followed by one-half of the eggplant, more pasta sheets, tomato sauce and 1/2 of the mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of pasta sheets, followed by the remaining eggplant, more pasta sheets and the remaining tomato sauce. Top the lasagna with the remaining mozzarella.
  8. Bake about 40 minutes, to one hour at 400 degrees F.
  9. Let cool 10 to 20 minutes before serving.