Food, Laugh, Main Courses, Social Sundays

Roasted Eggplant & Sausage Lasagna – Recipe!

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Lasagna is a traditional Italian casserole prepared in many households on the weekends for casual family gatherings, festive friend meetups, or just a nice meal with the intention of weekday leftovers.  Most people have their very own way of making lasagna –  layers of meat, cheese and zesty tomato sauce.

On this Social Sunday I thought I would share with you one of my new favorite lasagna recipes made with roasted eggplant and spicy Italian sausage.  This Roasted Eggplant & Sausage Lasagna is no ordinary meal, it is packed with four kinds of cheeses – smoky mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, parmesan and ricotta.  The smokiness comes from both the Scamorza (smoked mozzarella) cheese and the lightly roasted eggplant.

I used spicy Italian sausage because it can stand up to the creamy cheeses and doesn’t get lost in the dish.  The mild heat lends itself to a nice overall flavor which enhances the sauce.  I think you will just love this lasagna and it will become part of your Social Sundays calendar.  So, invite some friends and tell them to bring the salad!  Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @genamariebell or comment on Facebook.

Ingredients

1 medium eggplant, sliced into rounds

1 pound spicy Italian sausage

1 medium onion

2 cloves garlic

28 ounces whole tomatoes

6 ounces tomato paste

3 sprigs fresh oregano, divided

12 ounces scamorza or smoked mozzarella

12 ounces fresh mozzarella

12 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated and divided

1 egg

6-8 no-boil lasagna noodles

1/4 cup fresh parsley, rough chopped

salt & pepper

olive oil

(Serves 8-10)

To Prepare:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Place on a lightly oiled sheet pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  Remove and cool.  Lower oven heat to 375 degrees.

2.  Remove sausages from any packaging.  In a large saute pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and place over medium high heat.  Slice the casing off the sausages and place in the pan.  While cooking, breaking apart sausages until crumbly with spoon. Cook until slightly pink.

3.  Dice onion and mince garlic, add to the sausage and cook for 2 minutes.  Pour in the tomatoes and juice and break tomatoes apart with the spoon – be careful they don’t squirt on you!  Add the tomato paste, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stir.

4.  Remove the leaves from the oregano and rough chop.  Add 1 tablespoon to the meat mixture and stir.  Save the remaining oregano for the ricotta cheese mixture.  Turn the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 30 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool slightly.

5.  Grate the scamorza and thinly slice the fresh mozzarella.  In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoon of grated parmesan, remaining oregano and 1 egg, stir to combine.

6.  Let the layering begin!  Spoon 1/3 of sauce into a greased casserole dish.  Top with half of no-boil lasagna noodles.  Dollop half of ricotta cheese mixture on top and spread over noodles.  Layer third of scamorza and a third fresh mozzarella and half of roasted eggplant on top.  Repeat one more time – sauce, noodles, ricotta, mozzarella and eggplant.

7.  Pour remaining sauce over the top and spread to cover.  Top with remaining scamorza, mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan.  Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake again for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with mixed greens.  Enjoy!

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