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Eggplant Lasagna with Chefs Marinara and Fresh Basil

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2 Eggplants, sliced lengthwise 3/4-inch thick (8 slices)

5 T Olive Oil

Salt, Kosher

1 c Onion, finely chopped

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1 T Thyme, fresh chopped

1 (15-ounce) container Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese

3 Eggs

1 c Parmesan, finely shredded

2 T Oregano, fresh chopped

2 t Salt, Kosher

¼ t Black Pepper

2 c Chefs Marinara

1/2 c Basil, fresh chiffonade

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Arrange sliced eggplant in a single layer on 2 sheet pans. Brush on both sides using 3 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the eggplant until it is soft and golden. Turn slices halfway through, about 20 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and Sautee the onions until soft.  Add the minced garlic and chopped thyme. Cook for another 2 minutes.

 

Place the onion mixture in a large bowl and mix in the ricotta, eggs, 1/2 cup Parmesan, oregano, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Brush an 8-inch baking dish with oil.

Evenly coat the bottom of the pan with the marinara. Top with the eggplant, followed by the ricotta mixture. Repeat this layering until the ingredients are used up making sure to finish with enough sauce for a final layer on top. Top the final layer with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Bake until golden brown, at 350 degrees, for 30 minutes.  Serve topped with fresh Basil.

 

Chefs Marinara

 

4 slices Bacon, thick cut lardons

¼ c Water

2 c Onion, finely chopped in a food processor

2 c Carrot, finely chopped in a food processor

4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped in a food processor

¼ c Tomato Paste

1 T Italian Seasoning

1.5 lb Ground Beef

1 t Salt, Kosher

1 t Sugar

6 c Tomatoes, diced with the juice

3 c Tomato Puree

 

Place bacon and water in a sauce pan or small dutch oven and cook until rendered (8-10 minutes).  Add onion, carrot and garlic to the pan and continue cooking while stirring frequently for another 10 minutes.  Add tomato paste and Italian seasoning and cook for 5 more minutes.  Add ground beef, salt and sugar and cook while breaking up the beef and stirring to combine for about 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes and tomato puree.  Bring up to a simmer and cook for at least 30 minutes to blend flavors.  The longer you let it simmer the better the flavors will develop (up to three hours).