Eggplant Lasagne {Lasagne di Melanzane}

by cakeduchess on February 29, 2012 · 39 comments

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

    { 39 comments… read them below or add one }

    Cassie/Bake Your Day February 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    This definitely looks sinful but in an awesome way. Love eggplant and the no-boil noodles are the best!

    Reply

    Cake Duchess March 1, 2012 at 12:22 am

    I really like them. Convenient and so good!

    Reply

    Tiffany February 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    I’m like you, most meals are last minute, which drives my husband crazy, he wants a plan a month ahead…. THIS looks amazing, we have never made eggplant lasagna but I think we will give this a try, maybe I will even plan ahead of time!

    Reply

    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie February 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I’ve had eggplant parmesan but not in lasagna yet – yum!

    Reply

    Cake Duchess March 1, 2012 at 12:21 am

    It’s fabulous if you like pasta;)

    Reply

    Reem | Simply Reem February 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Lora… This looks fabulous!!!
    I love eggplant, I adore lasagne and I am in love with this….
    Yum my friend.

    Reply

    Steph February 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I think I could eat lasagna everyday too!! And I am loving this addition of eggplant!

    Reply

    Carole February 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Oh.My.GOSH! Lora, you’ve outdone yourself. This looks delectable. I plan to scoot to the farmers’ market to pick up some eggplant.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    Reply

    Cake Duchess March 1, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Thank you, Carol:)Let me know if you make it:)xx

    Reply

    Catalina @ Cake with Love February 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I also love lasagna and make the little dance when we have it for dinner :) the addition of eggplant is nice!

    Reply

    Marnely Rodriguez-Murray February 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Eggplant is one of my favorite veggies! I don’t even it see as a veggie, more like amazing stuff. Period. Fried, roasted, babaganoush, everything. What’s not to love!?

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    Cake Duchess March 1, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I agree, Nelly:)xx

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    Reeni March 1, 2012 at 12:01 am

    I could eat lasagna everyday too Lora! So delectable! I love that the eggplant hater didn’t know about the eggplant – I like to trick my family into eating things they don’t like too. I think it means we’re very talented cooks. xoxo

    Reply

    Cake Duchess March 1, 2012 at 12:22 am

    So could I, Reeni! hehehe…it’s fun when they end up eating and do like it:)xx

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    Pegasuslegend March 1, 2012 at 12:33 am

    Brillant idea I could eat this everyday!

    Reply

    The Mom Chef March 1, 2012 at 12:49 am

    I really need to try this version. It took me a long time to realize that I really do love eggplant. Moussaka is my favorite dish in the world and this isn’t a whole lot different to me (just removing the meat and adding pasta, no?). Your version looks as amazing as your friend’s.

    Reply

    Cake Duchess March 1, 2012 at 3:06 am

    Thank you! I also love moussaka. Any thing with eggplant for me is just fine:)

    Reply

    Kiri W. March 1, 2012 at 12:54 am

    How interesting! It sounds like such a cool mix between moussaka and regular lasagna and I know I would adore this. I am such an eggplant devotee. Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply

    Amalia March 1, 2012 at 1:21 am

    I love eggplant, it’s so delicious! I think it works so well with the lasagna. And don’t worry because I could eat lasagna everyday too, it’s so good!

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    Ann March 1, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Fantastic! I’m a HUGE fan of eggplant – so this is my kind of lasagna! YUM!

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    Eliotseats March 1, 2012 at 3:00 am

    This would even be good without the noodles b/c I love me some eggplant! Great post.

    Reply

    SweetSugarBelle March 1, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I love eggplant, and I love even more that you lightened it up!!! Wonderful dish!!!

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    Baker Street March 1, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I loveeee eggplant! Your lasagna looks fantastic Lora.. :)

    Reply

    Annie Oakley's Kitchen March 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Man, I could eat lasangna every day too! I love eggplant and it’s nice and saucy, just the way I like it! You’re making me hungry!

    Reply

    Lisa March 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    This is so not fair. I love eggplant in any form, but especially rollatine or lasagna, and you parade this pan in my face? I don’t whether to laugh or cry lol It looks sensational, Lora!

    Reply

    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts March 1, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    I have never put eggplant in lasagna before, but it is a great idea. Wonder if I could slip it by hubby!

    Reply

    Emily March 2, 2012 at 1:16 am

    This looks so delicious! I love eggplant in lasagna. My husband however does not. Great dish and gorgeous photos.

    Reply

    Carolyn March 2, 2012 at 1:48 am

    I love eggplant and lasagne. Of course, for me, the eggplant acts as the noodles, but hey, it tastes pretty much the same. Yours is gorgeous!

    Reply

    Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes March 2, 2012 at 5:03 am

    OMG – Cake Duchess Drooltown – population: ME!! This looks SO amaking, Lora! I have been thinking about trying these no-boil lasag. noodles for a while, but you put me over the edge. Thanks for another great recipe! Cheers!! :)

    Reply

    Lizzy March 2, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Is it wrong to want this for breakfast???? Gorgeous, Lora! And big congrats on your Top 9!!!! xo

    Reply

    Becky March 2, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I have never put eggplant in lasagne, but there is always a first time! Yours is gorgeous. Can’t wait to try this healthier version.

    Congrats on the Top 9 Today!

    Reply

    Anonymous March 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Broiling the eggplant gives it a smoky flavor, super!!

    Reply

    Kristina March 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    This looks gorgeous!!! I’m dying to have this for dinner tonight!! yummmm!

    Reply

    Karriann March 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Healthy. Convenient. Delicious. I couldn’t ask for more. Really fabulous!

    “Happy Cooking”

    Reply

    Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) March 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    I could eat lasagne everyday, too, but as much of a staple eggplants are in my kitchen, I’ve never put it in a lasagne. In fact, it’s been way too long since I last made the latter. Will have to fix this soon. I’m motivated to make this week. :)

    Reply

    Sara{OneTribeGourmet} March 5, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I can live on eggplants and one of my favorite dishes are eggplant lasagna…love your eggplanty cheesy goodness recipe! Yummo! :) xx

    Reply

    Feast on the Cheap March 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Oh how I wish this was already in the oven and ready in time for dinner. Gorgeous.

    Reply

    Jamie March 7, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Mmmmm yummy fried or not and I do not need to fried (actually frying the eggplant is why I don’t make this fabulous dish more often, so your way is fab!). I love eggplant parmesan and could eat it every single day. But, yes, I am a cook like you are and never plan ahead (lucky thing husband does sometime). I’m gonna snitch ;-) this recipe! I love it – and yours by golly looks absolutely decadent!

    Reply

    kita March 9, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Those no boil pasta noodles are awwwweeesome! I love when I find a box I have stowed away. I am learning to like eggplant, but I do love lasagna so I think this would be a perfect meal to test out!

    Reply

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