Thursday, September 27, 2012

Eggplant Lasagna

As a low carber one of the types of foods we may lament over is pasta dishes. Our very favorite place to spend time away from home is Italy. I've told you already about Mark's favorite meal of all being meatloaf, well neck and neck with that is LASAGNA.... so I had to join the ranks of coming up with a great noodleless make over. I have made several versions of lasagna that were good but when we sat down to this one..... heaven opened, a great light shown, and angels sang!!! ok, ok I'm back.
 I love it when recreating a dish comes out with nothing lacking from the original version. This recipe I developed from merging several others together.
 I think what made a big difference here is I found a great marinara sauce at Wholefoods that is SF, GF, and very LC.

 Rao's Homemade Vodka Sauce. It is kind of like a pink sauce instead of the dark red. I'm sure you can add a little cream or sour cream to another jarred sauce to get the same effect. It simply softened the flavor a bit which added to that velvety feel.
The best thing about lasagna is not just the flavor but those layers that meld together and give that luscious feel in your mouth. I can feel it even now.

You will get every bit of that and seriously, if you did not know there was not a noodle in this dish, it would simply be the best lasagna recipe without question all on it's own. You will never have to apologize with this dish that it does not have the beloved noodle in it. You will only get oooooz and ahhhzzz!!
As with almost any casserole dishe, the leftovers the next day are actually the best, so make extra. Mark and I actually had the leftovers for breakfast. Did I say we are also kinda weird. Now you have it.

China worthy
Ingredients:
2 lg eggplants, 1/2 slices
  olive oil spray
2 cps mozzarella cheese-shredded-(to top it off at end)


Sauce

1 lb ground chicken thighs
2 tsp dried fennel
1/2 lg white onion-diced
12 oz crimini mushrooms
2 24oz jars marinara sauce
1/4 cp red wine
1 TBS garlic powder
1TBS onion powder
1 TBS Italian seasoning
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp crushed red pepper




Ricotta Mixture:

1 15oz ricotta cheese
1/2 cp Parmesan/Romano cheese
1 cp mozzarella cheese
3 lg eggs
3 TBS fresh basil-chopped
 salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven 400
  • Add fennel to ground chicken. Squish with hands to blend well. In a sauce pan brown meat, 1/2 way through add onion. Add the marinara sauce and all of the rest of the sauce ingredients. Simmer while making the rest of the dish.
  • Slice eggplant in 1/2" slices. Easiest with a mandolin slicer. Sprinkle eggplant with salt & pepper. Spray both sides with olive oil spray. Place in 2 large baking sheets and bake until soft 10-15 min. Turn slices halfway through.
  • In bowl combine all ricotta mixture ingredients.
  • Pike Place Market Eggplant
  • Lower oven temp to 350.
  • In 9x13 baking dish spread pasta sauce on bottom. Layer eggplant, ricotta mixture. Repeat. Finish with a layer of eggplant & sauce and top with a layer of mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Take off foil. Bake another 20-30 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes or more to set up.  

Adapted from: A Pinch of Salt and verious other recipes over the years

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