Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Vegetarian Light Lasagna with Fresh Tomatoes and Aubergines

This vegetarian lasagna is a lighter version of the better-known traditional recipe: there’s no béchamel sauce, no ragout, and no mozzarella, only a light sauce made from scratch with fresh tomatoes. Cooking the aubergines with some mint leaves gives this lasagna a pleasant hint of freshness and makes this dish perfect to have even cold, on a hot summer day.


Serves: 2 | Preparation time 20 mins | Cooking time: 30 mins

  • Lasagna (no pre-cooking needed): 250 g
  • Pecorino, grated: 100 g
  • Water: 250 ml
  • Tomatoes: 5
  • Aubergines: 1
  • Garlic: 1 clove
  • Mint, fresh: 1 sprig
  • Basil, fresh: a bunch
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 7 tbsp
  • Breadcrumbs: as needed
  • Salt and pepper: to taste

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Finely chop the mint leaves and dice the aubergine in small cubes. Heat up 4 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and fry up the garlic clove for a few seconds before adding the aubergine and the mint, too. Cook until the aubergine softens, then remove the garlic.

Tip: If the cooked aubergine is a bit too watery, add some breadcrumbs into the pan.

Transfer the aubergine to a bowl and add a generous handful of pecorino, mix well and set it aside.

Remove the green stem of the tomatoes and cut a small X-shaped incision that will make it easier afterwards to grab the edges of the skin and peel the tomato. Heat up a pot of salted water and as soon as it begins to bubble quickly blanch the tomatoes; make sure that the water is only almost boiling. Remove the tomatoes from the water and peel them, then dice them in small cubes.

Heat up 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and quickly brown the garlic. Add the tomatoes and the basil, then season to taste and cook the sauce for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the garlic, then leave the sauce to cool down.

You can now start putting your lasagna together: grease the bottom of a baking dish with a few drops of olive oil, then cover it with the pasta sheets. Use a kitchen brush to wet the pasta sheets on both sides with lukewarm water. Pour in a ladle of tomato sauce and spread it evenly over the pasta sheets. Sprinkle the sauce with a generous handful of grated pecorino, then create another layer using the aubergine slices. Cover the aubergine slices with some more pasta sheets and proceed in this fashion until you use up all the ingredients.

The last layer of your lasagna should consist of a generous ladle of tomato sauce, topped with plenty of grated pecorino and a drizzle of olive oil.

Bake at 180°C for 25 minutes or until cooked through. Serve warm.

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