Pasta-less Lasagna

I’ve never been a big fan of lasagna. I love all the flavors and zest of Italian food, but lasagna always seemed to be wanting. I’d much rather have a calzone, or braciole. I know I am nearly alone in my opinion, but hey, that’s nothing new! Something very strange indeed must’ve possessed me to try my hand at making a mostly paleo-friendly lasagna; something strange, or just sheer laziness, or perhaps it was my hubby’s request – whatever the motivation, the results were fantastic, and I can no longer say, “I don’t care for lasagna.” I just don’t care for lasagna made with pasta, thank you very much. 😉 This lasagna, on the other hand, I love so much we eat it every.single.week.

Part lasagna, part eggplant parmesan, and entirely grain-free, this dish is uncomplicated yet hearty enough for this cold time of year.

Pasta-less Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized eggplant
  • 2 medium to large zucchini
  • 1 1/2 pounds italian sausage
  • 6 ounces goat cheese (ricotta also works well)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk or cream
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup water or broth (read here about how to make easy, homemade broth)
  • 1 head garlic (about 7-8 cloves)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella or cheese of choice (we’ve used everything from Colby Jack to Oaxaca, because we aren’t purists.)
  • salt, pepper, and Italian herbs like basil, oregano, and marjoram, to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x13inch baking dish with extra virgin olive oil or butter.
  3. Wash the eggplant and zucchini, then thinly slice into 1/4-1/2-inch slices. Set aside.
  4. Grate the fresh mozzarella or other cheese of choice and set aside.
  5. In a large liquid measuring cup, or medium-sized bowl, combine the tomato paste, red wine, and water. Mix until a smooth sauce forms.
  6. Heat a 10 or 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the sausage until no pink remains. Reduce the heat to low.

    sausage & sauce

  7. Add the tomato-wine sauce to the cooking sausage. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and italian herbs.
  8. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, or food processor, combine the 6 ounces of goat cheese, eggs, and milk, and mix until smooth.
  9. Assemble the lasagna! First, lay down a layer of sliced eggplant. Season the slices with salt, pepper, and herbs.

    layer of sliced eggplant

  10. Pour the goat cheese custard over the eggplant, and smooth it out so that it is evenly distributed.
  11. Add a layer of sliced zucchini. Season the slices with salt, pepper, and herbs.

    goat cheese custard is added, being topped with sliced zucchini

  12. Pour the sausage & sauce mixture over the zucchini, smoothing it out so that the entire surface is covered.
  13. Top this with any remaining eggplant & zucchini slices. I usually don’t have enough to fully cover the surface, but maybe 75% is covered. Again, season the veggies with salt, pepper, and herbs.

    final layer of veggies

  14. Cover the lasagna with the grated cheese, and season with a little more herbs.

    cheese

  15. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 1 hour, until the cheese is browned and the lasagna is bubbling.
  16. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. (If you can wait that long – we never can!)

    fin

Please let me know if you make this lasagna, and what you think of it! Happy Cooking!

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