Lasagna with roasted eggplant, mushrooms and carrots [Photo/The New York Times]
This is like a combination of eggplant Parmesan and lasagna, with the added texture and flavor provided by savory mushrooms and sweet roasted carrots.
1 medium eggplant, about 1 1/4 pounds, cut in lengthwise slices about 1/3 inch thick
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound mushrooms, cut in thick slices
1 large carrot, cut in 1/2-inch dice
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 1/2 cups marinara sauce, preferably homemade from fresh or canned tomatoes
7 to 8 ounces no-boil lasagna
3 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded or thinly sliced
4 ounces (1 cup) freshly grated Parmesan
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the eggplant slices on a sheet pan or a cooling rack and sprinkle with salt. Let sit 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Pat dry with paper towels and toss in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place on the baking sheet in a single layer (you may have to do this in two batches) and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, close the oven door and, using tongs, flip the eggplant slices over. Return to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender when pierced with a knife and browned in spots.
2. Toss the mushrooms, carrots and thyme with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the carrots are lightly caramelized and the mushrooms tender. Remove from the heat.
3. Lightly oil a rectangular baking pan. Stir the mushrooms and carrots into the marinara sauce. Spread a small spoonful of the sauce over the bottom of a baking pan. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Top the noodles with a spoonful of sauce, then a layer of eggplant slices. Top the eggplant with half of the mozzarella and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of lasagna noodles topped with a layer of tomato sauce and a layer of Parmesan.
4. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and place in the oven. Bake 40 minutes, until the noodles are tender and the mixture is bubbling. Uncover and, if you wish, bake another 10 minutes, until the top begins to brown. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Yield: 6 servings.
Advance preparation: You can assemble this up to a day ahead and refrigerate, or freeze for a month. The lasagna can be baked several hours ahead and reheated in a medium oven.
Nutritional information per serving: 404 calories; 19 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 9 grams monounsaturated fat; 27 milligrams cholesterol; 42 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams dietary fiber; 320 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 19 grams protein.