Roasted eggplant and zucchini are great all on their own. Add a deep, rich tomato-herb cream sauce, build a quick lasagna and now you have an amazing supper! If lasagna intimidates you, use oven ready noodles to save yourself the fuss and prepare the dish when you have time, store it in the fridge to bake later in the week when you don’t 🙂
The following makes a 9 x 13 pan of lasagna:
- 1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise
- 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
- 1 box oven ready lasagna noodles (no boiling required)
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Shredded mozzarella cheese, enough to layer in the lasagna
- Grated parmesan cheese, enough to layer in the lasagna
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice eggplant and zucchini horizontally (aim to get the same size pieces as the lasagna noodles), toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to coat and arrange in a single layer on baking sheets. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, turning half way through. While the veggies are roasting, work on the sauce. Remove veggies when done and turn the oven down to 375 degrees.
For the sauce (compliments of Emeril Lagasse, with a few tweaks from me of course):
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Half of a medium red or yellow onion, sliced
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 3 cups peeled, chopped, and seeded tomatoes (or 2 cups crushed can tomatoes)
- 1 sprig thyme (or a sprinkle of ground / dried thyme)
- Kosher salt
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Handful of each fresh parsley and basil, chopped and extra for garnish
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft and slightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds (be sure to stir garlic when adding so it doesn’t burn in the hot pan). Add the tomatoes and thyme. Season with salt and crushed red pepper, and cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chicken broth and tomato paste, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced a little and starting to thicken. Add the cream and cook until reduced by some more, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the butter, basil and parsley and stir to combine. Remove the thyme sprigs (if you used fresh thyme). Taste and adjust the seasoning and consistency if necessary.
To build the lasagna, spread a little sauce on the bottom of a prepared 9 x 13 baking dish. Next, lay 4 slices of lasagna on top of the sauce all in one direction. Top with some mozzarella cheese. Then add a layer of roasted veggies, followed by a layer of sauce and parmesan cheese. Add another layer of 4 noodles, this time all in the opposite direction as the first layer of noodles. Top with some mozzarella cheese, then a final layer of roasted veggies, a layer of sauce and a layer of parmesan cheese. Add the final layer of 4 noodles, all in the same direction you started. Top with the remaining sauce and a final layer of mozzarella cheese. Be careful not to use all the sauce up in the beginning of layer, parcel out so you’ll have enough throughout.
Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 10 – 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garish with more parmesan and fresh parsley or basil.