Recipe by Heather U.
My mom invented this dish one afternoon as she "contemplated an accumulation of zucchini, eggplants, and tomatoes. It's a lot of work but one could ease the burden by making the tomato sauce ahead of time and freezing it until needed."
- 5 -7 Japanese eggplants
- 15 -18 medium tomatoes
- 2 yellow onions
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons garlic
- 2 teaspoons fresh basil, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar
- 3⁄4-1 lb white mushroom
- 2 -3 medium zucchini
- 1⁄4 cup zinfandel (or other full-bodied red wine)
- 12 lasagna noodles (2 are extra, just in case)
- 1 cup small curd cottage cheese, creamed
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1⁄3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 cup whole milk mozzarella, grated
Directions See How It's Made
- Trim stem ends of eggplants. Peel. Cut vertically into quarters, then crosswise into ½" cubes. Toss eggplant pieces with plenty of salt. Let drain in colander for 30 minutes.
- While eggplant drains, peel, seed, and coarsely chop the tomatoes. Put in colander and let drain.
- Dice the onions and saute them in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. When onion is translucent, add garlic, basil, oregano, sugar, pepper to taste, and tomatoes. Simmer until sauce is thick and very little free moisture remains in bottom of the pan, about 1 hour.
- While sauce simmers, pat eggplant pieces dry in a clean towel. Simmer in about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan until tender. Set cooked eggplant aside in a bowl.
- While eggplant is cooking, grate the zucchini. Salt it liberally and let it drain in a colander or on a cutting board for 30 minutes.
- Slice mushrooms. Saute them in 2 tbsp olive oil until wilted. Add Zinfandel and cook briskly until liquid has evaporated and pan is virtually dry. Put mushrooms in bowl with eggplant.
- Squeeze as much moisture as possible from the zucchini. Saute briefly in 1 tablespoons olive oil (or less) for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- While zucchini cools, cook lasagna noodles in boiling water in stock pot for 10 minutes. Drain in colander and rinse to prevent sticking.
- While noodles boil, mix together cottage cheese, beaten egg, parmesan, and zucchini. Refrigerate until needed.
- Stir together tomato sauce, eggplant, and mushrooms. Spread half the mixture in 13x9" pan. Top with five lasagna noodles. Spread zucchini-cheese mixture on noodles. Top with five more lasagna noodles, then with the rest of the tomato-vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
- Cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting.
- July 27, 2008.