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Meat Lasagna with Eggplant, Zucchini, and Creamed Spinach

30 Jun

I conceived this recipe when I needed a dish to prepare for New Year’s Eve, 2010. I was at Trader Joe’s and felt like making a lasagna with eggplant, but couldn’t figure out what else would go well with it. Luckily for me, I came across a very helpful employee who gave me suggestions for how to construct my own lasagna!

My lasagna is unique in that it contains both meat and vegetables, but you can easily omit the meat or use a substitute.The frozen creamed spinach and eggplant/zucchini mixtures can only be found at Trader Joe’s, but you can use fresh vegetables instead.

Ingredients:Lasagna

  • 1 package Lasagna noodles
  • 1 large jar tomato sauce
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s frozen creamed spinach
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s frozen eggplant and zucchini
  • 1 package sausage
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 large container ricotta cheese
  • 1 large package mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large container parmasan cheese

Instructions:

  • Cook noodles according to directions on package.*
  • De-frost creamed spinach and eggplant/zucchini mixtures. Set aside and allow to cool.
  • Cook sausage in a frying pan with oil over medium heat until it is no longer pink. (If using pre-cooked sausage, you may skip this step).
  • In a large bowl, combine sausage and jar of tomato sauce, reserving some sauce for later.
  • In another large bowl, combine beaten egg, ricotta cheese, and parmasan cheese. Stir until thoroughly blended.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Pour a layer of plain tomato sauce into a large rectangular baking dish so that the entire bottom of the dish is covered.
  • Cover with noodles.
  • Add a layer of sauce with the sausage mixed in. (If not using sausage, you may skip this step).
  • Cover with noodles.
  • Add a layer of the creamed spinach mixture, spreading evenly on top of noodles.
  • Add a layer of the eggplant/zucchini mixture, organizing vegetables so that they fit neatly in the direction of the noodles. (This will make it easier to cut the lasagna later).
  • Cover with noodles.
  • Add layer of egg and cheese mixture.
  • Cover with noodles.
  • Add layer of plain sauce and generously cover with shredded mozzarella.
  • Bake for 1 hour or until done.

*Some noodles do not need to be pre-cooked. If you are using “no boil” noodles, simply lay the uncooked noodles in your baking pan. They will cook with the rest of the lasagna.

Chef’s Tips:

  • If you know ahead of time that you will need to cut your noodles in order to fit your pan, do not use “no boil” noodles! These are difficult to re-size.
  • Allow lasagna to cool for 15 minutes prior to serving. Otherwise it will be too runny.

Lasagna serving suggestion

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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Beef, Entrees, Lasagna, Pasta

 

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