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Lighter Lasagna With Eggplant

This lasagna recipe is somewhat different because I use precooked eggplant to mix into the meat sauce. I find that it makes the lasagna lighter than the usual meat lasagna, but a little heavier than eggplant layered lasagna. There is also some Asian infusion with the use of soy sauce and green onions to enhance the flavors.

Ingredients

Bechamel Sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 ½ tbsp flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk

Meat Sauce

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 20 oz jar of tomato sauce
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ to 1 hot chilli pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 5 small white mushrooms
  • 1 to 2 sweet red peppers, cubed
  • 3 stalks green onion, cut into 1 cm pieces
  • 2 to 3 tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 lb ground meat (beef, turkey or pork)
  • 3 tbsp oil

Other Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • cilantro or parsley (chopped, as garnish)
  • lasagna pasta, sufficient for 2 layers

Directions

Bechamel Sauce

  1. Melt butter in a separate pan.
  2. Once butter is melted, add flour and stir frequently so that mixture does not burn.
  3. Add milk to mix, and whisk to remove lumps. Stir frequently while bringing to a boil.

Meat Sauce

  1. Wash eggplant and remove stem. Leave skin on, spray with cooking spray and bake at 275F for 1 hour or until fork pierces eggplant easily. Turn eggplant halfway through cooking.
  2. Once eggplant is cooked, de-skin it, and cut into cubes.
  3. In a suacepan, stir fry chopped onion, garlic and hot chilli pepper until fragrant.
  4. Add ground meat and stir until almost fully cooked. Add cubed mushroom. Cook until mushrooms are tender.
  5. Add eggplant and tomato sauce. Once sauce is heated, add cubed red peppers. Add soy sauce to taste.
  6. Remove from heat, add green onions.

Putting it together

  1. Place enough meat sauce at the bottom of 9x13 pan to cover entire bottom surface with a thin layer of sauce.
  2. If using no-boil lasagna pasta, may place pasta over top of thin layer of sauce at bottom of 9x13 pan. If using lasagna pasta that needs boiling, be sure to boil lasagna in a separate pot until al-dente.
  3. Layer meat sauce over pasta, adding bechamel sauce in spoonfuls over meat sauce. May add a layer of cheese here if desired.
  4. Layer again with pasta, meat sauce, bechamel sauce and cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated 375F oven for 40-45 minutes. Let stand for 15-20 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley or cilantro.

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