There’s nothing quite like a rich and hearty lasagna! I could dream up different versions all day. The one I’m posting today features a chicken sausage, ground turkey, and sun dried tomato meat mixture layered with whole wheat noodles, tender roasted eggplant , creamy ricotta, and a lovely pecorino romano white sauce. Oh, and several generous handfuls of shredded mozzarella cheese, of course!
It does take some time to assemble all the parts of this dish, but it’s definitely worth it because you get to enjoy the leftovers for several days. It also freezes beautifully. I’m already looking forward to making this again – yum!
Sausage and Eggplant Lasagna
2 eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch thick lengthwise slices
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 pound chopped chicken sausage
1 large leek, white and light green part only, chopped
6 ounces fresh baby spinach
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 8.5-ounce jar julienne sliced sun dried tomatoes from Trader Joe’s (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
32 ounces part-skim ricotta
1 large egg
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 1/2 cups freshly grated pecorino romano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 box whole wheat lasagna noodles
4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
To roast the eggplant, heat oven to 375°F. Layer eggplant slices in colander, sprinkle with salt on both sides of each slice, and let sit for 30 minutes or until moisture comes out. Rinse well with water and pat dry with paper towels. Place eggplant slices on two large baking sheets and use a pastry brush to evenly coat both sides of each eggplant slice with olive oil. Bake at 375°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender but not mushy.
To make the meat layer, place ground turkey, chicken sausage, and leeks in a large nonstick skillet and sauté for 10 to 12 minutes or until meat is browned and fully cooked through. Add spinach and garlic to the skillet and sauté 1 to 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Stir in sun dried tomatoes and salt.
To make the ricotta layer, place ricotta, egg, basil, oregano, and salt in a large bowl and mix until smooth.
To make the sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth and cook one more minute or until mixture starts to brown. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and whisk in pecorino romano and salt. Heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.
Heat oven to 350˚F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook lasagna noodles according to the directions on the package. To assemble the lasagna, place a layer of 4 noodles in a 13×9-inch pan and top it with half the eggplant, half the ricotta mixture, half the meat mixture, half the sauce, and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Repeat this layer. Then place the remaining 4 noodles on top and sprinkle evenly with the 2 remaining cups of mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350˚F for 45 minutes or until cheesy is light brown and bubbly. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Makes 12 servings.
Nutrition: 623 calories, 30.2g fat, 6.9g fiber, 43.6g protein per serving
Cost: $2.36 per serving