Friday, September 14, 2012

Eggplant Kale Lasagna

I have been so in love with my weekly Fresh Fork this year! It seems every week it gets better and better.

This was my bag last week:
All this AND a giant watermelon that wouldn't fit in the picture.
Most weeks, I've been eating things as they come and not really messing around with recipes because everything tastes great as is. I really never get tired of eating veggies - especially when they are this fresh. But this week I actually had some extra time and was in the mood to create something new and interesting.

On Friday we had pizza night and I had extra mozzarella and 2 kinds of sauce from Alesci's. If you haven't been there yet, you should really stop the next time you are on Mayfield Rd. in S. Euclid. And if you stop on a Friday (like today!) they have their ready to bake pizza dough for the amazing deal of 4 bags for $1. Seriously. In addition to their awesome dough, you can also get all sorts of things Italian like olives, deli meats and cheeses, prepared foods, dry pasta, wine, cookies, really good bread and more. They also sell frozen items like ravioli, cavatelli and meatballs. 

I normally don't buy their frozen sauce and stick with the refrigerated version for my pizza if I don't have some already made at home. But that day, it was hot out and I needed a way to keep my purchases cold so I came up with the great idea of buying frozen sauce to use as ice (genius!) - and it worked perfectly! And that sauce actually inspired this recipe. I love it when things work out like that, don't you?

I picked up a container of their marinara and found another tasty sounding sauce: eggplant and sausage. This really sounded delicious and I thought it would make an interesting pizza and it did! I added onions and kalamata olives and it rocked! That sauce is so delicious I'm going to try making some myself one of these days.

But back to the lasagna. I had some sauce left over and was going to toss it with some pasta when I decided that adding some of the eggplant I got in my Fresh Fork bag sounded good. This turned into lasagna when I remembered that I also had some fresh ricotta to go with all my leftover pizza fixings. I also had some kale left from last week and decided to add that too. I just used up what I had and winged it and this was one of the best lasagnas I've ever had! Here's my rough recipe - I didn't measure anything and you don't need to either.

Ingredients:
boiled lasagna noodles
ricotta cheese
eggplant/ sausage sauce from Alesci's
marinara sauce
shredded mozzarella
extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small eggplant, cubed
bunch of kale, chopped
salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Boil lasagna noodles (slightly firmer than al dente) while you are chopping and sauteing. When your veggies are done, drain and rinse with cool water so they are easier to handle.

2. Cut the eggplant into small cubes. Saute in a little olive oil with onions, garlic and S+P until soft.  

3. Add kale and cook until tender and eggplant is lightly browned.

4. Layer lasagna in 9x13 pan, starting with a generous pour of sauce, then noodles, ricotta, veggies, more sauce and mozzarella. 

5. Top with another layer of noodles and keep going until you run out. 

6. Make sure the top layer is covered in sauce and finish with mozzarella.

7. Bake covered at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

8. If you like the top cheese to be browned, uncover and bake 5-10 minutes more.

9. Let lasagna rest for 10 minutes, then dig in and enjoy!
veggies are poking out because I ran out of noodle for my last layer
super yummy!
Mine was very thin because I was using up leftover sauce and cheese and only had a partial package of noodles. Normally, this would be twice as thick at least, depending on the pan used.

This uses up two ingredients that a lot of CSA customers aren't sure what to do with (eggplant and kale) and it tastes amazing! If you don't eat meat, you could use just the marinara sauce and I'm sure it would still be great. I thought it would also be good with some mushrooms added. 

This is my favorite kind of recipe - it's super easy to make and I clean out the fridge at the same time. Hope you like it too!

10 comments:

  1. Great minds think alike! I just made a clean out the fridge veggie lasagna too! I had eggplant slices, shredded zucchini, peppers, onions, tomatoes, collard greens, and garlic in mine. I was thinking about seeing how spaghetti squash might work, but the pan was already going to be overflowing. I was really happy with how it turned out.

    Have you ever tried the no boil nooodles? That's what I always use because it saves an annoying step, but I know some Italians who are against that shortcut.

    I love Alesci's! I get pizza dough everytime I'm there, but apparently it's never been on a Friday. I'm stopping there tonight though!

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    1. I have used the no cook noodles but you need to use extra sauce with them. Since I was using up what I had, I didn't have enough to keep the lasagna moist enough. I love them though!

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  2. that sounds and looks amazing!

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  3. The linguini was great last week!!

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  4. Just an FYI... there's an Alesci's in Solon on Station Street in the strip mall between the post office and the Midas.

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    1. Yes, there's one in Solon and one in Willowick too. They all have different owners. The one in Willowick is the biggest but I always end up at the Mayfield Rd one. I don't think the Solon one is a good as the other too but in a pinch it will do.

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  5. Hi, It looks yummy and mouthwatering.i tried this at home , my family and lid loved it. Thanks for this good posting.Your description is very nice any one can follow easily.
    All the best keep posting..........

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  6. Looks amazing! When are you cooking for me?

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