In the words of Garfield, “Mondays: Blah. Lasagna: Yay!”
Garfield is a cat who gets it. Monday’s are kind of blah. But a good serving of lasagna can turn that all around. And Monday isn’t all that bad when you got this dish in the oven and the new Kendrick album playing on repeat.
Really not so bad after all.
1 TB olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
¼ tsp salt
1 lb eggplant
1 15 ounce container of part skim ricotta
1 ½ C grated mozzarella
1 tsp dried oregano
¾ lb ground beef
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 TB olive oil
Salt and pepper
Serves 2 hungry people with a little leftover for lunch
For the marinara: In a large pot, bring 1 tablespoon of olive oil to medium low heat. Add 3 minced garlic cloves and cook for 2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and salt and stir until garlic is combined into the tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a simmer, turn heat down to medium low cook with the lid a jar for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Slice the top off the eggplant to remove the stem. Cut the eggplant down the middle. Sprinkle each flesh side of the eggplant with a generous pinch of salt. This will bring out any excess water in the eggplant.
Prop each eggplant so it sits on an angle. Let the eggplant sit for 30 minutes. Pat the eggplant dry once water drops have formed on the surface.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Using a knife score the flesh side of the eggplant. Make a few scores down lengthwise and then score crosswise about an inch apart.
Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each eggplant half and roast in the oven for 50 minutes.
Once done, pull the eggplant out of the oven. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon, place in a bowl add a pinch of salt. Set aside.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and cook lasagna noodles for about 9 minutes or until al dente. Strain and set aside.
In a large pan bring 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Season the beef with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Add beef and minced garlic. Using a wooden spoon break up beef into small pieces and cook for 5-7 minutes until meat is browned and no longer pink. Remove from heat.
In a medium sized bowl mix together ricotta, egg, 1 C mozzarella, oregano and salt.
Pull out the 10×5 loaf pan you will be cooking the lasagna in. Stack up the cooked lasagna noodles on a cutting board and measure out so the noodles will fit in the pan. You will need to trim off about 3 inches. Save those trimmed pieces because you will use them for one of your noodle layers.
Get an assembly line set up: ricotta mixture, marinara, ground beef, eggplant, ½ C mozzarella.
Start off by spreading 2 spoonfuls of marinara on the bottom of the loaf pan. This will keep the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Place 2 trimmed noodles down. They will overlap slightly. Pour in ½ cup marinara sauce. Layer with ½ cup ricotta mixture. Spread over ½ of the eggplant and cover with two more trimmed lasagna noodles.
Layer with another ½ cup marinara and then ½ cup ricotta mixture. Then top with ½ of the beef. Top with 2 more trimmed lasagna noodles.
Pour over ½ cup marinara sauce. And then ½ cup ricotta mixture. Top with the remaining eggplant and the beef. Top with any ricotta mixture you have left over.
Place the trimmed lasagna ends over and cover with the remaining marinara sauce.
(There should be ½ cup of marinara left for the top) Top with ½ cup grated mozzarella and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until cheese becomes golden brown.
Remove from oven and let the lasagna sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.