Broiled eggplant slices stand in for lasagna noodles in this low carb Atkins dish. I made this dish because although I love making my tried-and-true sausage lasagna recipe, I wanted to lighten the carb content a bit. The eggplant and the portobello mushrooms are so meaty and delicious that you don’t even miss the lasagna noodles!
Admittedly, the prep work is a bit labor intensive – so much so that one recipe card wasn’t enough to hold all the directions. Don’t let that scare you though – you’ll be glad you tried it!
1 1/2 lbs. eggplant (about 2 medium)
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup spicy no-sugar-added tomato sauce
4 pieces medium portobello mushroom caps (about 12 ounces), gills removed
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 cups ricotta cheese
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced
- Trim eggplant, discarding the stems, but leaving the peel on; then slice lengthwise ¼-inch to 1/3-inch thick.
- Layer eggplant slices in a colander, salting each layer. Let stand in the sink or over a bowl for 15 minutes to drain bitter juices.
- Meanwhile, in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until browned and beginning to crisp, about 6 minutes.
- Drain liquid from skillet and stir in tomato sauce. Remove from heat; set aside to cool.
- With a small, sharp knife, scrape away the undersides of the mushrooms to remove the brown gills. Wipe mushrooms with a damp cloth.
- Brush mushrooms lightly with olive oil; season with salt and pepper.
- Cook mushrooms 4 minutes per side in a large skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Cut them into 1/2-inch slices; set aside.
- Heat broiler. Pat eggplant dry. Brush olive oil on both sides. Broil 3 minutes per side until just beginning to char; set aside to cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F.
- In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine ricotta, spinach, eggs and Parmesan cheese. Pulse until blended. Add pepper.
- Lightly oil a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish. Arrange half the eggplant slices in an even layer on the bottom of the dish, overlapping slightly.
- Top the eggplant slices with half the mozzarella and all the mushrooms. Spoon on half the meat sauce, then spread all the ricotta mixture on top, in an even layer.
- Top with the remaining eggplant, followed by the remaining sauce and the mozzarella.
- Bake about 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
- Let cool slightly before cutting and serving.
Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:
- You’ll be tempted to substitute light versions of the cheeses to bring down the calories in this dish – don’t do it! I tried that and it made the lasagna too loose and almost watery.
- Don’t skip the steps to salt the eggplant. The salting step removes some of the bitterness.
- Go ahead and use your own homemade sauce if you prefer, to make this dish your own.
- Be sure to squeeze dry the thawed spinach to reduce the liquid content in the dish.
- If you don’t have a food processor (step 9), just use your blender like I did.
Yield: 8 servings
Adapted From: http://www.Atkins.com