August 28, 2012

Lovely Lasagna

We have some food allergies in our family and when I am having a family meal I don't want anyone to think about food safety issues. I want everyone to enjoy the food and fellowship of eating as a family. One of the hearty family meals that I have gotten comfortable with is Eggplant Lasagna. I posted this photo to my Facebook page so that I could say thank you to the family from our church that brings produce to share with others from our congregation. I got so many requests for the recipe I thought maybe I should post it here as well.

Growing up we didn't have very many mixed dishes because my dad was more of a meat and potatoes kind of guy. I learned to make lasagna from one of my co-workers at my first "real" job. We worked long hours and she was a goddess about using the crock pot or making big meals on Sat. and Sun. and warming them up for the rest of the week evening meals.

I use one pound of ground meat browned. I have used turkey, venison, beef, and sausage. I use what ever I have. We really do like the sausage mixed with venison about 1/2 a pound of each.

I use enough eggplant sliced top to bottom to make two layers of "noodles". We use these thin slices of eggplant to completely replace all of the noodles.

The next layer is ricotta cheese, or cottage cheese. I use what I have. I like the creamy ricotta, but I use low fat cottage cheese if it is more cost effective.

The next layer is a few shakes of Italian spices, more or less to your taste, and about 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Pour about 1/2 jar of your favorite pasta sauce over that and start the layer process again. If you have mushrooms they are a super duper addition to the heartiness of this dish.

I bake this uncovered for about 1/2 an hour then cover it and bake till done, usually another 1/2 hour. If your eggplant slices are thick it may take a little longer. I bake this in a 9 x 13 dish at 350 degrees.

I hope you will try this with some of your garden splendor.

Ingredient List:
1 lb of ground meat browned. Throw some slices onions in there too.
1-2 Eggplants sliced thinly as the "noodles"
1 -16 ounce container of cottage cheese or ricotta
2 cups of Mozzarella cheese divided
Parmesan cheese use with your discretion
1-32 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce
Italian spices
Nice additions if you have them, would be mushroom slices.

Bake about one hour in a 9 x 13 pan at 350 degrees.