Ina Garten uses the genius idea of roasting all of the vegetables in this lasagna filling, as well as using no-boil lasagna noodles, to remove the excess liquid that often makes a vegetable lasagna too watery. Perfect comfort food.
This recipe was adapted from Make It Ahead: a Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten, via The Kitchn, contributed by Emma Christensen. I used a mandoline to slice the eggplant and zucchini. I also increased the garlic and goat cheese, modified the technique, and used the noodles without pre-soaking them.
It was very cheesy and indulgent so we gobbled it up with a giant green salad. 😉
- 1 1/2 pounds eggplant (1 medium/large), unpeeled, sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick using a mandoline
- 3/4 pound zucchini (2 medium/large), unpeeled, sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick using a mandoline
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 T dried oregano
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 12-14 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 16 ounces fresh whole-milk ricotta
- 10 ounces creamy garlic-and-herb goat cheese, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 4 1/2 cups, 40 oz, bottled marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Italian Marinara with Barolo Wine)
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, very thinly sliced (I used pre-sliced and cut them in half)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F preferably on convection roast.
- Arrange the eggplant and zucchini in single layers on 3 sheet pans lined with parchment paper. (I had 1 2/3 trays of eggplant and 1 1/3 trays of zucchini.)
- Brush them generously with the olive oil on both sides, using all of the oil.
- Sprinkle with the oregano (I crush it in my hands), 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper.
- Roast for 25 minutes, rotating after 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle the garlic evenly over the vegetables, and roast for another 5 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through.
- Remove all 3 trays from the oven and lower the temperature to 350°F, preferably on convection.
- Combine the ricotta, goat cheese, eggs, basil, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed.
- Spread 1 cup of the marinara in a 9×13×2-inch baking dish.
- Arrange a third of the vegetables on top, then a layer of the noodles (6 noodles per layer), a third of the mozzarella (9 1/2 pieces per layer), and a third of the ricotta mixture in large dollops between the mozzarella.
- Repeat twice, starting with the marinara.
- Spread the last 1 1/2 cups of marinara on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan.
- Place the dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake an additional 30-35 minutes, until the lasagna is browned and bubbly.
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes and serve hot.
Make-Ahead: Assemble the lasagna completely and refrigerate for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost (if necessary) and bake before dinner.
Posted in Casserole, Greens, Pasta, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: basil, casserole, cheese, dinner, eggplant, fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, Ina Garten, lasagna, marinara, ricotta, roasted, vegetables, vegetarian, zucchini
I must confess that we’ve eaten these delicious sandwiches on a couple of occasions already. They are a fabulous variation of the more common vegetarian alternative “parm” sandwich, eggplant parmesan. Worth using the oven in the summer! 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Meatless Sheet Pan Suppers: 100 Surprising Vegetarian Meals Straight from the Oven by Raquel Pelzel. I served them with both challah and potato rolls, on different occasions. The original recipe recommends sub rolls. I modified the proportions, used part-skim mozzarella, and substituted fontina for the provolone cheese. Fabulous!
Yield: 4 sandwiches
- 8 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp plus a pinch of kosher salt
- 3/4 cup grated low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 3/4 cup grated fontina or provolone cheese
- 6 T finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 4 large or 6 medium portobello mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Marinara Sauce with Barolo Wine), or more, as desired
- 4 rolls, such as challah, potato, or sub rolls
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
- Combine the olive oil and garlic in a microwave safe bowl, and warm in the microwave at high power until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 to 45 seconds.
- Pour 3 T garlic oil into a small bowl and add the panko bread crumbs and a pinch of kosher salt. Rub together with your fingers to combine and set aside, reserving the remaining garlic oil. (Add up to an additional tablespoon of garlic oil, as needed.)
- In a separate bowl, combine the mozzarella, fontina (or provolone), and Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses.
- Place the mushrooms in a medium-sized bowl and toss with 2 T garlic oil and the remaining 1 tsp kosher salt.
- Transfer the mushrooms to a parchment paper-lined, rimmed sheet pan and roast until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Do not flip them. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
- Line a second sheet pan with aluminum foil (or the same pan if it is cool enough to handle). Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat the broiler to high.
- Open the rolls and lightly brush the interior of each with some of the remaining garlic oil.
- Place the rolls, face up, on the prepared sheet pan and broil until the bread is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Watch carefully! Remove the rolls from the oven, keeping the broiler on, and divide the tops of the rolls among 4 plates. Leave the bottom of the rolls on the sheet pan.
- Arrange the mushrooms over the bottom halves of the rolls and top each with 2 (or more) T marinara, spreading it out a bit.
- Divide the cheese over each mound of vegetables and return the sheet pan to the broiler. Broil until the cheese is melted, 1 to 3 minutes, watching carefully.
- Sprinkle the reserved panko bread crumbs evenly over the cheese and return to the broiler until the crumbs are golden and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Transfer each portion to a plate and top with reserved roll top. Serve hot.
Posted in Quick, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: dinner, fast, fontina, Italian, marinara, mozzarella, mushrooms, panko, parm, parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano, portobello, portobello mushrooms, provolone, rolls, sandwiches, sheet pan, sub, vegetarian
My food blog friend Sally @Bewitching Kitchen inspired me to make this lighter version of classic eggplant parmigiana. The eggplant is breaded but oven-baked instead of fried. It was quite delicious. 🙂
I served the cheesy eggplant over pasta with sauce, per my husband’s request, but it really wasn’t necessary. We ate it with spicy and garlicky sautéed broccoli rabe and roasted asparagus on the side. I used my new favorite jarred sauce, Trader Joe’s Italian Marinara Sauce with Barolo Wine, as a shortcut. This recipe was adapted from The Kitchen, contributed by Jeff Mauro, via Bewitching Kitchen.com. Great!
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
- 1 medium to large eggplant
- 2 eggs, beaten with a teaspoon of water
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 24 ounces jarred tomato sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Marinara Sauce with Barolo Wine)
- slices of fresh mozzarella cheese (about 1 pound)
- 1/2 pound of prepared pasta, for serving, as desired (I used Capunti pasta)
- Heat a rimmed baking sheet – empty – in a very hot oven, 450 F to 500 F, preferably on convection.
- While the baking sheet is heating, peel the eggplant, cut crosswise in 1/2 inch slices. Place on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
- Put the eggs, water, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in another bowl next to it.
- Dip each eggplant slice into the egg wash, but allow just one side to get wet with the mixture.
- Next, dip it in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing to coat, and carefully place on a rack with the crumb side up.
- Make sure you have the tomato sauce warmed up and ready to go, and the cheese slices also nearby.
- Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and drizzle the olive oil to coat the hot surface.
- Working quickly, add the eggplant slices with the crumb-coated side down. It will stick to the oil and start to get pretty hot right away.
- Add the tomato sauce on top, cover with cheese, and place in the oven, reducing the temperature to 375 F, preferably on convection.
- Cook for 20 to 25+ minutes. When the cheese is starting to get golden brown at the edges, the eggplant will be done. (Additional sauce can be added on top of the cheese halfway through the cooking process, if desired.)
- Serve immediately with your favorite side dish.
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Posted in About thebrookcook, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: baked, cheese, dinner, eggplant, eggplant parm, eggplant parmesan, fresh mozzarella, Italian, light, marinara, mozzarella, oven baked, panko, parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano, sheet pan, vegetarian
The plus side (supposedly!) of the original recipe for this dish from Martha Stewart was that it was a vegetarian casserole without cheese. After seeing an adaptation on Kirkley Crossing, I added fresh mozzarella. Cheese makes everything better! I added fresh spinach too.
I made the polenta but did use jarred marinara as a shortcut. We enjoyed it with a green salad. Cheesy vegetarian casseroles are perfect comfort food in cold weather!
Yield: Serves 6
For the Polenta:
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup polenta or coarse yellow cornmeal (not quick cooking)
- Mix one cup of liquid with the cornmeal and stir. This prevents the cornmeal from lumping when added to the boiling liquid.
- Bring the remaining stock to a boil in a 3 or 4 quart sauce pot and add the salt and pepper.
- To the boiling stock, pour the cornmeal slurry in a steady stream, stirring constantly until completely added.
- Simmer over low heat, stirring often, until done, about 30 to 40 minutes. When done, polenta will pull away from the sides of the pot and will be soft in texture.
- Remove the pot from the heat and finish as desired. Adjust the consistency with additional stock or water, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pour onto a greased half-sheet pan and refrigerated until cool and firm. (I coated the sheet pan with cooking oil spray.)
For the Layered Eggplant & Polenta Casserole:
- 24 oz jar (3 cups) marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Italian Marinara Sauce with Barolo Wine- delicious!)
- 1 batch Polenta (recipe above)
- 2 large handfuls organic baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil, or more if necessary
- coarse salt
- 1 medium eggplant, preferably organic, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 1 pound (16 oz) fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- Heat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Preheat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Slice polenta into squares about 1/2 inch thick. (I cut mine into 24 pieces.) Brush lightly with olive oil. Place in the skillet until lightly browned. Flip over and repeat. Transfer to a plate.
- Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the skillet until nicely browned, flip over and repeat. Transfer to a plate.
- Spoon about 1/2 cup tomato sauce into a 9-inch square baking dish, spreading to coat evenly. Arrange eggplant slices snugly in a single layer. (I used 9 slices per layer.)
- Top each round with a sprinkling of spinach (1 large handful) and a slice of mozzarella cheese.
- Top with a layer of polenta.
- Spoon about 3/4 to 1 cup tomato sauce over the top. Repeat with another layer of eggplant, spinach, cheese, and polenta. Finish by dotting with remaining tomato sauce.
- Cover with foil; place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until bubbling and juicy, about 45 minutes.
- Remove foil; place on upper rack in the oven and continue baking until sauce is lightly caramelized and eggplant is tender, about 15 minutes more.
- Remove from oven; let cool slightly, and serve.
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Posted in Casserole, Greens, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: casserole, cheese, comfort food, cornmeal, dinner, eggplant, fresh mozzarella, grits, marinara, polenta, spinach, vegetarian
During my college days, I was lucky enough to celebrate Easter with one of my roommates and her large Italian family. It was always an amazing feast. One of the first courses served was a homemade manicotti. I’ve loved it ever since- and now think of it in the springtime.
I was drawn to the “French” twist in this version, using crêpes in lieu of pasta. They were tender and delicious. Lovely.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine contributed by Christine Dimmick. I adjusted the seasoning and ratios. I also modified the crêpe batter technique from using a blender to hand-whisking, and to cooking them on a lightly oiled crêpe pan, my tried and true method. This dish could be modified to include any variety of fillings in the crêpes. Next time I may incorporate spinach or mushrooms. 🙂
- 2 cups ricotta cheese (15 ounces), preferably fresh
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 6 ounces)(part-skim okay)
- 2/3 cup coarsely chopped basil, plus more for garnish
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
- vegetable oil, for the pans
- 3 cups tomato sauce, preferably homemade (I used local Mamma Lombardi’s Marinara Sauce)
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- In a large bowl, combine the ricotta with the mozzarella, basil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, to taste.
- In a bowl, whisk the flour and eggs until thoroughly combined. Add the water and a generous 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Whisk until smooth.
- Heat an 8-inch crêpe or omelet pan over moderately high heat. Using a brush, lightly oil the pan and add a small ladle of the batter (about 1/4 cup); working quickly, swirl the pan to coat it evenly.
- Cook until the top of the crêpe is dry and the bottom is lightly golden, about 1 minute. Flip the crêpe and cook until the bottom is lightly golden, about 20 seconds longer.
- Transfer the crêpe to a large plate and repeat with the remaining batter to make a total of 16 crêpes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°, preferably on convection.
- Coat the bottom of a 3-quart baking dish with 1 cup of the tomato sauce.
- Arrange the crêpes on a work surface. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the ricotta filling in a line down the center of each crêpe. Loosely roll up the crêpes, burrito-style with ends folded in, and arrange them, seam side up, side by side in the baking dish. (I placed them in 2 rows of 8 crêpes.)
- Pour the remaining 2 cups of tomato sauce over the manicotti and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
- Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the tomato sauce is bubbling and the manicotti are heated through.
- Garnish with basil, if desired. Serve piping hot.
Make Ahead: The unbaked manicotti can be refrigerated overnight. Allow up to 15 minutes longer for baking.
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Posted in Casserole, Holiday, Pasta, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: basil, cheese, crepes, dinner, Easter, Italian, manicotti, marinara, mozzarella, mushrooms, parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano, ricotta, spinach, vegetarian