I told a friend at the grocery store the other day that I had developed a “noodle free lasagna ” recipe using eggplant instead of noodles. “Oh”, she said, “you mean Eggplant Parmesan?” This recipe is similar to eggplant parm but looks and tastes like lasagna. It is a good substitute for regular lasagna for those on a gluten-free diet. Easy, nutritious and all without using lasagna noodles. This recipe makes two servings. Give it a try!
4 ¼-inch-thick eggplant slices (cut lengthwise from a long, fat eggplant)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 egg (lightly beaten)
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon fresh basil (chopped)
1 garlic clove (minced)
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon butter (you can substitute olive oil)
8 ounces mushrooms (chopped or sliced)
1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
Fresh spinach or baby chard leaves
1 cup mozzarella cheese (grated)
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (grated)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Pat eggplant slices dry. Rub (or brush) both sides with olive oil and place on cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes and turn slices over. Bake for another 10 to 12 minutes or until soft.
Combine egg, ricotta cheese, basil, garlic, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir well and set aside.
Heat butter in pan over medium to medium-high heat. Do not let it burn. Add mushrooms and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until soft. Stir mushrooms into ricotta mixture and set aside.
Add Italian seasoning to crushed tomatoes and set aside.
Now to assemble the lasagna. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Pour 1/4 of the tomatoes evenly into the bottom of the pan. Top with one slice of eggplant. Layer spinach leaves over eggplant. Spread half of the ricotta-mushroom mixture on top, followed by another 1/4 of the tomatoes. Top with another eggplant slice.
Repeat layering with tomatoes, eggplant, spinach, ricotta-mushroom mixture, tomatoes and the last slice of eggplant. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese followed by the Parmesan cheese.
Reduce oven to 375 degrees and bake lasagna for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese starts to brown. Serve with a garden-fresh salad and a mellow red table wine.