There are some meals I make that haven't yet ended up on the blog. Some are too boring, some are completely un-photogenic, and some are too fiddly. Then there are a couple that are healthy, cheap, yummy, beautiful - but just take a lot of effort to make. This is one of those very long recipes. It comes from Australian Women's Weekly 'Food We Love'. It takes longer to make than nearly every other recipe I've posted, but it's definitely worth it. I've added my variations at the end. I hope you like it.
2 medium eggplants (600g)
2 Tbsp coarse cooking salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium red capsicums (400g)
1 1/2 cups (390g) bottled tomato pasta sauce
250g instant lasagne sheets
3/4 cup (75g) grated mozzarella
1/2 cup (130g) pesto
1/2 (40g) finely grated parmesan
1. Oil 2-litre (8 cup) rectangular baking dish.
2. Cut eggplants into 1cm slices. Place in colander, sprinkle with salt; stand 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to moderately hot (200C/180C fan-forced)
4. Rinse eggplant under cold water; pat dry with absorbent paper. Brush eggplant with oil; place, in single layer, on oven trays. Roast about 40 minutes or until tender.
5. Meanwhile, quarter capsicums, remove seeds and membranes. Roast under grill, skin-side up, until skin blisters and blackens. Cover capsicum pieces with plastic or paper for 5 minutes; peel away skin, cut capsicums into thick strips.
6. Make white sauce.
7. Reduce oven temperature to moderate (180C/160C fan-forced).
8. Spread one-third pasta sauce into baking dish. Top with one third lasagne sheets, another third of sauce, half the eggplant and mozzarella; repeat layering using another third of the lasagne sheets, remaining sauce, all the capsicum, remaining mozzarella, lasagne and eggplant. Spread pesto over eggplant; top with white sauce.
9. Bake, covered, 30 minutes; uncover, sprinkle lasagne with parmesan, bake further 30 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven; stand, uncovered, about 5 minutes before serving.
white sauce Melt 60g butter in small saucepan; add flour, stif over heat until bubbling and grainy. Remove pan from heat, gradually stir in milk; return to heat, stir until mixture boils and thickens. Remove pan from heat; stir in cheese.
Ryan doesn't like eggplant, so I have substituted sliced roast pumpkin, steamed spinach, and sauted mushrooms and onion. They all work - you could use any vegetables - but you have to cook them first. Because I don't usually buy bottled pasta sauce, I sometimes blend up tinned tomatoes and basil instead. The one in the picture used roast beetroot.