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.
- 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
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:
- 2 cups milk
- 2 T. butter
- 2 T. flour
- 1/2 t. nutmeg
- 1/2 t. cinnamon
- 1 t. salt
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.