Eggplant and Sausage Lasagna

I planted Eggplant this year. I’m not sure why because I have very few recipes other than Eggplant Parmesan and Grilled Eggplant, both bore me to tears, so why do I have about 20 Eggplant ready and at the waiting?

Well, I remembered this recipe, which is really a cross between Eggplant Parm and Lasagna. It’s very hardy and feeds a crowd. All the measurements are approximates. If you start running out of oil while frying, add more. I used a little less Ricotta than the recipe calls for because I didn’t want the end result being too soupie.

2 Medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 package sweet or hot italian sausage patties
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 Cup Italian Seasoning breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 (15 ounce) carton ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 Cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 (14 ounce) jar speghetti sauce
1 (6 ounce) package of grated mozzarella cheese

Salting Eggplant: (or sweating them) With eggplant, you need to sweat out the bitterness. Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices, generously salt both sides of each slice. Line a cookie sheet with paper towels, place the slices on the papertowels, top with papertowels and place more slices on top. Finish with a layer of papertowels and another cookie sheet on top. You can even place a cookbook or something heavy on the top cookie sheet to weigh it down and help squeeze the eggplant slices. You should let them sit for at least 20 minutes to an hour.

At this point some suggest rinsing the eggplant after sweating, but I never do. It’s up to you. If you’ve really loaded them with salt, rinse them and dry them before proceeding.

Dip each eggplant slice in egg and then in breadcrumbs. Fry eggplant in oil over medium-high heat until golden brown and each side. Drain on paper towels. You’ll need to do this in several batches.

Crumble and brown sausage.

Arrange eggplant in a lightly greased, 9 x 13″ baking dish. Spread 1/2 of the ricotta cheese over eggplant, sprinkle with sausage and Italian seasoning and 1/2 of the Parmesan. Top with Spegetti sauce and repeat with another layer of eggplant, ricotta, sausage, seasoning and parmesan. Top with sauce and a little more parmensan and bake at 350 degress for 25 minutes. Sprinkle Mozzarella on top and bake for an additional 5 minutes. I like to brown the cheese just a little, so I’ll turn the broiler on at the very end for a minute or two. Just don’t forget it or you’ll be scraping off the cheese and starting over, trust me, been there done that.

Let the lasagna sit for 10 minutes, slice and enjoy.