Eggplant Lasagne {Lasagne di Melanzane}

I swear this isn’t as sinful as it looks!
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I have an issue with lasagne. I could eat it for dinner every, single day. I think it’s one of the most perfect meals to be made in a casserole dish. 

The problem is I’m not always the most organized lasagne planner. Honestly, I’m not the best at planning most things. I’d call myself more of a spontaneous cooker these days. It’s usually an idea that hits me at around 4:46 PM when everyone is super hungry. I sometimes get lucky and will find a box of Barilla’s no-boil noodles in my cabinet and then I do a lasagne happy dance!
Doesn’t everyone do a little dance when lasagne is being made for dinner?:)

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But seriously, I’m not going to pretend that this was no work. I mean, I didn’t make my pasta dough and roll it out into perfectly thin noodles. But I did make my own sauce and I did bake the eggplant slices. That was a whole lot easier and less messy than frying them. Plus, a whole lot healthier. 
A couple weeks ago when we were at my friend Ilaria’s for that awesome lunch…they also made homemade lasagne. They made their own noodles and fried the eggplant. They also put bolognese sauce in the lasagne instead of tomato sauce. Incredibly delicious and decadent.
Here’s what Ilaria’s lasagne looked like! Amazing! 
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You may be rolling your eyes saying, “What about the yummy fried flavor?!?” Yes, of course. Fried is so good! BUT, eggplants are still yummy even when they aren’t fried. Someone here is not a fan of eggplants. She happily ate the lasagne not realizing it had eggplant in it until she was about 1/2 way through. 😉
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Lasagne di Melanzane –Eggplant Lasagne

2 -4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant (about 2 pounds total), cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices
1-2 tbsp AP flour
2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled plum tomatoes, undrained (I used San Marzano)
Salt and pepper
6 basil leaves, chiffonade
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (you could use part skim if you prefer)
9 no-boil or oven-ready lasagna noodles
salt and pepper to taste

Tomato Sauce:

Pulse tomatoes and juices in a food processor until coarsely chopped. In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté’ the onion until translucent. Add the tomato puree, salt, and chopped basil and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. (adjust flavoring in sauce to your taste. If you like it spicy, go ahead and make it spicy!)

Eggplant:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Slice eggplant into thin strips and place on a baking sheet. Dredge in a little flour and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until tender turning once (about 10-15 minutes; baking time depends on how thick you slice them).
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    Lasagne Assembly:

    Spread 1/4 cup sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles crosswise in single layer in dish.
    Arrange 3 lasagna noodles slightly overlapping over the pasta sauce; top with half of eggplant slices, 3/4 cup pasta sauce, 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano sprinkled on top. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread remaining pasta sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup  Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

    (If you would like to plan this, go ahead! This can be made 1 day ahead. Chill in fridge until next day when you are ready to bake it.)

    buon appetito!! What’s your favorite kind of lasagne? I think this is definitely in the top 3 for me!:) Pin It

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