Pasta-Less Vegetarian Lasagna

This recipe is primo!!! It’s got some prep time behind it (1 hour) but it is so worth it.  Put your favourite music on, make a big mug of tea and get down to business.

My meat loving partner and teenage son gobble this up! I prefer to call it a veggy stack.  A lasagna without lasagna noodles isn’t a lasagna in my books.

I do make a few changes.  I don’t like mint, I don’t like parsley.  I don’t add either. I add the basil, rosemary and thyme to the ricotta cheese mixture.  I also bake in over for at least 1 hour.  I find the potatoes need it.   I also use sweet onions instead of red onions.  Just a preference.

This recipe is a must.

Pasta-less Vegetarian Lasagna

2 firm, medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds)
salt and pepper
2 firm, medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup EVOO, plus more for brushing
1 head garlic
2 cups fresh ricotta
2 cups grated parmigiano-reggiano
1 ball mozzarella (1 lb), shredded
1/4 cup finely chopped mint and parsley (2 tbsp each)
1 egg beaten
1 28 ounce can san marzano tomatoes
a few basil leaves
3 tablespoons grated red onion
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 small baking potatoes (about 2 lbs), peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick on a mandoline
1/4 cup finely chopped rosemary and thyme (2 tbsp each)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Peel the eggplants, leaving on some of the skin so they look striped, then slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick. Salt and let drain on kitchen towels for 30 minutes. Slice the zucchini 1/4 inch thick on an angle; salt and let drain with the eggplant

Pat the eggplant and zucchini dry with a kitchen towel. Divide between 2 baking sheets, brush with EVOO and roast until slightly golden, 10 to 15 minutes.

Peel the garlic and place the whole cloves in a small pan; cover with 1/2 cup EVOO and cook over low heat until the cloves are soft and caramel in color, 15 to 20 minutes.

Combine the ricotta with 1 cup each parmigiano-reggiano and mozzarella, the mint-parsley mixture and egg; season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup each parmigiano-reggiano and mozzarella.

Place the tomatoes and their juices in a food processor. Puree with all of the garlic cloves, 3 to 4 tbsp. of the garlic oil, the basil leaves, onion and sugar; season with salt and pepper.

Lower the oven to 400 degrees . Spread half of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish; layer in half of the eggplant and zucchini, then dollop one-third of the ricotta mixture on top. Next, shingle half of the potatoes on top and season with salt and pepper, a sprinkling of the chopped rosemary-thyme mixture and a drizzle of the remaining garlic oil. Top with another third of the ricotta mixture. Layer with the remaining eggplant, zucchini, ricotta mixture and potatoes; season with the remaining rosemary-thyme mixture and garlic oil. Top with the remaining tomato sauce and the parmigiano-mozzarella mixture.

Cover the lasagna with greased parchment and wrap with foil; bake on a baking sheet for 40 minutes; uncover and bake until deeply golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.


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