Gina’s Eggplant Lasagna

When we were in Chile this spring for our daughter’s wedding, we were invited to the home of her ‘host mom’ Gina. Gina is a wonderfully gracious hostess and a fabulous cook. While we were there, she served us eggplant lasagna.  It was so delicious that I requested the recipe on the spot.  She graciously sent it home with Erika. After I made the recipe, we decided for the first time in years to plant  eggplant in our garden.  Sadly last week one of the plants died in a tragic weeding accident, and I promptly went and bought four replacements– thus is my level of enthusiasm for this recipe.  Try it.   Love it.  Tell me about it.  I am hungry right now just thinking about it.

Ingredients

  • 3 big eggplants
  • 3/4 pound hamburger
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 2 cups white sauce (recipe below)
  • 6 slices of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

Cut the eggplant lengthwise in slices about a 1/4 inch thick.  Rub all sides in salt and let it sit for 1 hour. Rinse them off well and then dry them. Put sliced eggplant in a large pot enough water to just cover the eggplant, and cook eggplant until it is soft but not falling apart, about 10 minutes.  Drain water off and set them aside to cool.

Fry the onion until it is transparent, then add the meat and cook til browned.  Then add tomato sauce, oregano, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf. Stir together, simmer on low for 5-10 minutes, and set aside.

Next make the White Sauce:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T.  flour
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. salt
  • pepper

Melt butter in  a medium sized pot on the stove.  Whisk in flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.  Add milk and heat until thickened and bubbly.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Next, assemble the lasagna.  In a 9×12 pan layer the different parts .  First spread out a layer of eggplant slices, as if they were noodles.  Next spread on half the meat, 1/3 of the white sauce and 1/3 of the cheese.   Repeat the layers:  eggplant, remaining meat, some of the remaining white sauce and some of the remaining cheese.  Finish with a layer of eggplant, the remainder of the white sauce and the remainder of the sliced cheese.  Top with the grated parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, until cheese is slightly browned and bubbly.

Variation : instead of soaking the eggplant in salt, just slice into rounds without peeling, and fry in a little oil before assembling in lasagna.

{ 12 Comments }

  1. Yum! I’m going to save this recipe for later. I am pregnant right now and I’ve heard old wives tales that say that eggplant induces labor. 😉

  2. Jessica says:

    That looks a lot like a Greek moussaka…. also very yummy!

  3. My favorite thing to do with eggplant is peel, cube, and roast it until it gets brown. Then add to any tomato sauce at the end of cooking.
    The roasting really brings out the sweetness and gets rid of the bitterness without having to salt and drain the eggplant.
    This method would go very well in your recipe above.

  4. mama bugable says:

    Eggplant from the garden is wonderful! Last year I got a tip from a friend that is worth sharing. Instead of frying eggplant in oil for eggplant parmesan, oven ‘fry’ it. Dip it in egg and breadcrumbs, then bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, turning halfway. This is a great way to use tomatoes (homemade sauce) and eggplant from the garden as it freezes beautifully. I make huge batches as I harvest so we can enjoy it year round.

  5. we planted eggplant in our garden for the first time this year too- Rachel Ray did a similar recipe that caused me to feel the need!! ha ha! Lets see if I end up with vedgs or have to purchase them from the store. I dont have a green thumb.

  6. Eggplant is one of the least understood foods I think we have around. I treat myself and kids at home to a fancy restaurant for Valentine’s Day where I order eggplant parmesan and the kids get whatever they want. My one ‘for sure’ treat of the year.

  7. This is not a sarcastic question, although it may seem that way. Why do you dry the eggplant before you put it in the water?

  8. This looks awesome, thanks for sharing, I CRAVE eggplant, and now wish I had some growing in the garden…

  9. julia from Canada says:

    I tried this recipe the other evening and although I was pleasantly surprised at the eggplant taste (or should I say “lack of bitter taste” that I’d previously experienced with eggplant), the texture of the eggplant was very mushy and the cinnamon & nutmeg addition to the recipe just tasted very “wrong”. My husband and kids said it tasted disgusting and I thought that to even refer to it as ‘lasagna’ was a real stretch. I have to say this will probably be the last recipe I try from this website as I’ve tried probably about 5 and every one of them has been disappointing. Maybe the recipes are just a little too ‘economical’ for my family’s taste.

    • Hi Julia, If the eggplant was mushy, perhaps less boiling would get you a more pleasing texture. We enjoyed the cinnamon/nutmeg seasoning– we love to try new things. But I could see how it might surprise folks expecting the usual basil/tomato lasagna. Sorry the recipe was not a hit with you.

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