Hamptons Epicure: Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna, a Classic Pantry Recipe

Eggplant Lasagna
Photo: iStock.com

Last week we ran my recipe for Black Bean & Rice Soup, noting that you probably have everything that you need to make it in your kitchen already. Readers demanded another easy “pantry recipe,” so here it is. You can use the more traditional ricotta in place of this tofu mixture—just add an egg to bind it together and omit the salt and vinegar.

Eggplant Lasagna
Serves 6

Special Equipment: lasagna pan; heavy-duty foil

24 oz. jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
9 lasagna noodles, uncooked
1/2 oz. dried mushrooms, such as porcini
8 oz. thinly sliced mozzarella or provolone
1/4 cup water
1-pound pkg. of frozen Italian-style breaded eggplant cutlets

For tofu “ricotta:”
1 14 oz. package of extra-firm tofu, drained and broken into four chunks
3 cloves roasted garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon each of dried oregano; dried basil; ground
Atlantic kelp (or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt); vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°.
Mix all of the tofu ricotta ingredients together in a food processor until they are of uniform consistency.
Cover the bottom of the baking pan with a half cup of the spaghetti sauce.
Place 3 lasagna noodles lengthwise over the sauce.
Sprinkle noodles with mushrooms.
Dollop noodles with “ricotta” mixture.
Top all with 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce.
Layer in 3 more lasagna noodles.
Place half of mozzarella over noodles.
Dollop noodles with remaining ricotta mixture.
Cover with 1/2 cup of sauce.
Layer in last 3 noodles.
Layer in last of mozzarella.
Coat noodles and cheese with 1 cup of spaghetti sauce.
Place 1/4 cup of water in the sauce jar, cover with lid and shake to gather last of sauce in jar.
Pour sauce-water over noodles and cheese to further saturate.
Place frozen eggplant cutlets on top of lasagna.
Cover pan tightly with heavy-duty aluminium foil.

Bake for 1 hour.

Stir all topping ingredients together in a small bowl.
Remove pan from oven and discard foil.
Sprinkle crumb topping over top of lasagna.
Return to oven for 15 minutes.
Turn off oven and open oven door.

Allow lasagna to rest for about 10 minutes before cutting.

Pair with a Long Island merlot and enjoy.

Stacy is currently at work on a Hamptons-centric cookbook with co-author Hillary Davis.

You can follow Stacy’s informed and opinionated foodie adventures on Twitter @hamptonsepicure.

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