Prep Time:40 minutes |
Cook Time:40 minutes
Sort of a moussaka-meets-lasagna Bolognese, this recipe was actually born out of a misunderstanding. I had listed both eggplant and lasagna on a cooking class description and the words got conflated into one name when the schedule went out. So I created this dish and it turned out to be the most popular thing we made. There is no pasta in it. Just layers of roasted eggplant alternating with a rich meat sauce and cheese. In short, it’s the ultimate casserole.
2 large Italian eggplants
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork or veal
1/2 cup red wine
freshly ground pepper
28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup heavy cream
about 1 cup shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Trim top and ends off eggplants, then peel eggplants. Slice the eggplants about 1/4-inch thick. Brush both sides with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with salt, and roast on parchment-lined baking sheets (do not overlap) in oven until lightly browned on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven, but leave oven on.
While eggplant is roasting, heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a wide saute pan or Dutch oven and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until onion is softened. Stir in the oregano, rosemary and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Crumble in the meats and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink; drain off fat. Stir in the wine and a pinch of salt and crank in several grindings of pepper. Cook until wine has evaporated, then stir in tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Stir in cream and cook until thickened, 15 to 20 minutes more, stirring often and adjusting heat as necessary to help liquid reduce. (If making sauce ahead, at this point, cool, cover and refrigerate it for up to one day.)
Oil a 9×13–inch baking dish. Spread a ladleful of meat sauce in the bottom of dish and top with a layer of roasted eggplant without overlapping (they don’t have to fit perfectly). Top with some more meat sauce, then cheese, then repeat the layers, ending with sauce on top, then sprinkle with cheese. Bake until bubbly and browned at the edges, about 40 minutes.