Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Lasagna Hat-Trick : Grilled Eggplant, Sausage & Peppers, and Bolognese

I really want to call this Grilled Eggplant Sausage & Peppers Bolognese Lasagna but that is just too much of a mouthful... an awesomely delicious mouthful, but a mouthful nonetheless. I'd also love to call this "the best damn lasagna you ever ate" but even though I am made of awesome, I'm not quite that cocky. So, instead I offer you a lasagna hat-trick featuring interpretations of three well-loved Italian-American dishes:
  • Grilled eggplant - a classic in antipasti and a lighter substitute for that other favorite: eggplant parmigiana.
  • Sausage and peppers - an Italian-American favorite of street vendors, backyard barbecues, and ball games.
  • Bolognese sauce - an homage to my second home of Bologna, Italy and one of the most beloved exports to Italian-American cuisine.
This isn't a classic lasagna by any means. There is no ricotta, no egg to act as a binder. It is simply layer upon layer of deliciousness. 


Hat-Trick Lasagna ~ serves 6-8
1 medium Italian eggplant
3 large red peppers
3 cups sliced fresh mozzarella
4 links Italian sausage
2 cups tomato (marinara) sauce
1 cups Bolognese sauce
1/2 box Barilla no-boil lasagna noodles

Equipment: you will need a grill pan or outdoor grill in addition to a lasagna (casserole) pan, cookie sheet and a colander.

Wash eggplant and slice lengthwise into 1/4" slices. Layer in colander with kosher salt or sea salt sprinkled liberally between slices. This will draw out the bitter moisture from the eggplant. Let stand about an hour and then thoroughly wash off all salt. Set aside.

Set oven to broil. Wash peppers and lay on a cookie sheet. Broil several minutes each side until blackened. Turn off oven and set peppers aside until cool enough to handle. When cool peel off skin, remove stem and seeds. Cut into inch wide strips and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375º F.

Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Lightly spray with olive oil or cooking spray. Grill eggplant 3-4 minutes per side, rotating 90º once per side to achieve cross-marks (if desired). Grill Italian sausage and slice into thin rounds.

Begin to layer lasagna in the pan in the following order: tomato sauce, no-boil noodles, eggplant, cheese, Bolognese, noodles, tomato sauce, peppers, sausage, noodles, tomato sauce, any remaining eggplant, Bolognese and cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35-40 minutes or until bubbling. Remove foil and cook 10-15 minutes or until top layer of cheese is browned. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving. Serve with a simple salad with olives, a few curls of parmigiana, and a light lemon vinaigrette.

It's so good your husband, you know - the guy who barely eats ever - might even call from work to say his lunch is delicious. Yay!


Enjoy!

22 comments:

  1. So very tempting!!I haven't made lasagna in a long time and yours seems too good to give a miss!Will be trying this very soon :)

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  2. Love! Really beautiful way to switch it up!

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  3. wow... that is one terrific lasagna! I'm always going for the crispy ends and this is crisy all over!! Love that you grilled each component!!

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  4. Mmmm, nothing beats eggplant in a lasagne for me. This looks gorgeous and warming and perfect in the snow that's covering Cleveland. Great recipe!

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  5. Jess, this sounds amazing!!! Fabulous additions make this an outstanding lasagna!

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  6. I love all the delicious things stuffed into this one lasagna! If only I wasn't a vegetarian, I'd be all over this.

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    1. You could try replacing the Bolognese layer with a heaping helping of assorted mushrooms, diced and sauteed with thyme and oregano. And the sausage layer with grilled fennel and zucchini.

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  7. Looks so yummy! I'll have to give this one a try! :)

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  8. Ya know... I don't even like eggplant and I want a piece of this, Jessica! That's a successful recipe in my book. Buzzed!

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    1. Wow! That's a great compliment! Thank you. :)

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  9. Oh wow this lasagna recipe sounds delicious!! Yummy! :)

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  10. I love "Hat Trick Lasagna"! Such a great name, and a beautiful dish :)

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  11. Oh my goodness deliciousnes! This looks amazing. So many of my favorites all in one lasagna. Yum!

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  12. Looks like a great recipe! I love that you were able to combine a few different recipes into one amazing one. Great post!

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  13. oh boy does this look absolutely delicious or what?!

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  14. delicious! but it looks more like a "parmigiana di melanzane" than a "lasagne" , but it looks so good! yummy yummy!!

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    1. Well, I would have made the melazane alla parmigiana but I didn't want to add fried to the noodles. Considering lo stile della lasagne e la pasta io credo che sia abbastanza "lasagna" ma mi piace "alla parmigiana" anche!

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  15. This looks and sounds amazing! I love eggplant parmigiana but haven't tried anything else using eggplant. I will definitely have to try this one. Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. I'm so glad you like the look of it! Here is another eggplant recipe you might like - it's sort of eggplant parmigina-esque. :)

      http://cake-o-cake.blogspot.com/2011/10/grilled-eggplant-involtini.html

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  16. This is something very special. Have not tried before.

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  17. as soon as i get off my detox i am making this!!

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  18. I made this today and it's delicious and not too fussy. thank you so much, I will make it again!

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