Lately I haven’t been showing that many meaty things, but I will have you all know, that this past Saturday I had steak. And then the night after that, beef chili. But if red meat or meat in general ain’t your thing, last night I had tofu. What I’m trying to say is… I eat everything. Okay, not literally everything. Beef tongue and bone marrow, yes. Brains and natto, probably not. Luckily none of those things are in this recipe!
Yesterday I showed you how to make fresh ricotta and a few days ago you got the fresh (drunken?) pasta recipe for a nice fresh egg yolk pasta. I’m sure you could see where I was going with those posts. I used half the original pasta right away and the rest sat overnight in the refrigerator for the lasagna I was going to make. I made this a week ago so it’s slightly delayed but you can see how the timeline works out.
I perused a couple of recipes for eggplant lasagna but most were basically eggplant Parmesan (read: breaded eggplant) between sheets of lasagna. That sounds weird to me. I mean, let’s be honest, I LOVE eggplant Parmesan, but I don’t want it in my lasagna. So I went a different route.
Dice the eggplant then saute until it starts to brown in some good olive oil. Once it is starting to show some color, throw in chicken Italian sausage (raw, casing removed). I used two links but another link or two would also work.
Brown the Italian sausage until it is cooked through. Next, add pasta sauce. If I had really been serious about making everything from scratch, I would have made my own sauce. But because I made fresh ricotta and pasta, I figured I would cut the corner on the pasta sauce. Besides, I’m addicted to Trader Joe’s low fat marinara. I may never make my own marinara again.
Meanwhile, after removing some of my fresh ricotta for spreading on bread, I put the rest in a bowl separately. You can either mix in a whole egg, or if you made egg yolk pasta with 10 eggs the night before, mix in some egg whites. Salt, pepper and Parmesan were also added and mixed together.
Now, everyone should know how to assemble a lasagna so I didn’t take lots of detail shots of this. I drizzled some good olive oil in the dish, then put in a little of my sauce/ eggplant/ sausage mixture. I was not being liberal with the sauce because I was really afraid I didn’t make enough but it turned out just fine. If you are using fresh pasta, as I was, you do not need to precook the pasta. When you boil fresh pasta it only takes a minute or two so making sure that it has enough moisture in the baked dish (aka sauce) is all that needs to happen. I rolled out my pasta and used kitchen scissors to cut it to size.
Layer of the ricotta mixture goes on the pasta, then a little more sauce and then some mozzarella. I may have made my middle mozz layer a little too liberal, don’t be like me. Finally one more layer of pasta, the rest of the sauce, and then an acceptably liberal top layer of mozzarella. No, I didn’t shred mine fresh. Like I said, fresh pasta and ricotta. What more do you want from me?
Throw that bad boy in the oven for about 45 minutes until the top is all brown and bubbly and amazing looking.
Seriously, I’m like Garfield with lasagna. Can’t get enough of it. But I resisted for about five minutes to let it cool and firm up before cutting into it and making my husband super happy that I had the day off even though he didn’t.
Not the greatest glamor shot ever, but believe-you-me, it was really delicious and the perfect combination of eggplant and cheesiness and just a little sausage in there as well. I would take this over eggplant Parmesan any day. So would this guy:
Served with sparkling limeade from these guys, a green salad and Mediterranean olive bread (with olive oil and ricotta) which I will be sharing soon!
Are you a big fan of lasagna? What kind is your favorite?