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Mediterranean Lasagna

Editor's Note: For all of you vegetarians or people who seek to have vegetables as a central ingredient, this Mediterranean Lasagna is a dish that cannot be missed. It brings you the flavors of Mediterranean cooking, while still enjoying the base ingredients of an Italian favorite. Fresh eggplant cut up, in season in the spring and summer along with red bell peppers and portobello mushrooms, which bring a stronger flavor to the dish, add a healthy and fresh taste to the traditional cheeses and marinara foundation. Lasagna is a great dish for a larger party and can be more economical to feed a large amount of people. Bake this dish and enjoy a lighter version of an old classic.

A simple baked vegetarian pasta dish full of Italian flavors.

Makes8 servings

Preparation Time20 min

Cooking Time1 hr

Cooking MethodBaking

CostModerate

Easy

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationPeanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegetarian

EquipmentBaking/gratin Dish

MealDinner, Lunch

Taste and TextureCheesy, Rich

Type of DishBaked Pasta

Ingredients

  • 4 small eggplants
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed
  • Olive oil, for the dish
  • 4 cups marinara sauce
  • 8 oz (227g) oven-ready lasagna
  • 1 lb (450g) mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 15 oz (420g) ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 9 × 13 in (23 × 33cm) baking dish

Instructions

  1. Cut the eggplants lengthwise ½ in (13cm) thick. Place in a colander on a plate and toss with 1½ tbsp of salt. Let stand 30–60 minutes to draw out the bitter juices. Rinse well and pat dry with paper towels.

  2. Position an oiled broiler rack 6in (15cm) from the heat and preheat the broiler. Broil the eggplant, peppers, and mushrooms for 5–10 minutes, or until they are softened but still hold their shape. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly oil the baking dish and spoon in a ladleful of the marinara sauce. Top with a layer of pasta, some vegetables, another ladleful of sauce, then some of the mozzarella and ricotta. Repeat the layers, finishing with tomato sauce, topped with some vegetables. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.

  4. Cover the dish tightly with aluminium foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes more to brown the top. Remove from the oven and let stand 15 minutes before serving.

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This sounds really good! I love using eggplant in my dishes, too, so that's a definite bonus. I am greatly looking forward to trying this out.

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