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End of Summer Lasagna

This is a lighter than usual Lasagna (which isn't saying much considering its cheesy goodness), in that rather than using pasta on its own to create the layers of the dish, I subbed in eggplant and zucchini slices for 2/3 of the pasta. Next time I might even omit the pasta completely and add a layer of steamed greens instead. The flavors that one expects of lasagna are still all there, as is the gooey with crisp edges cheesy topping, but this felt a bit more end of summer appropriate than my put-meat-on-your-bones-simply-by-looking-at-it winter version.

I made this in a 9x9 dish, which made 9 portions. It is freezable and also holds up very well when transported as office lunch.

1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/4" slices

2 zucchini or 1 zucchini and 1 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into 1/4" slices

4 uncooked lasagna noodles, each broken into 4-5 random pieces

1 cup roughly chopped basil leaves

2 cups tomato sauce, homemade is best but favorite jarred will do if you must

1 cup milk

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp flour

1 bay leaf

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 cup freshly grated Mozzarella


Place the flour and butter together in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk together constantly as the butter melts until golden brown.

Add a tablespoon or so of the milk and whisk together until the butter-flour mixture has melted into the milk then add the rest of the milk and the bay leaf. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens.

Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. Remove from the heat. After a few minutes, whisk to incorporate any remaining unmelted Parmesan and set aside.

Place the vegetables whilly-nilly in a microwave safe container. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of water and some salt and microwave for 2 minutes or so until softened. Pour any juices into the cheesy sauce that you just made and whisk to combine.

Remove the bay leaf from the sauce and prepare for assembly.

Place a few tablespoons of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9x9 pan -- enough to cover the bottom -- and layer in the following order: vegetables, basil, Parmesan sauce, noodles, tomato sauce and repeat. Finish with a few tablespoons of the Parmesan sauce, a few tablespoons of the Mozzarella and the remaining Parmesan so plan accordingly.

Set aside for the 2 sauces to soak into the noodles while the oven preheats to 350.

Bake until golden brown and bubbling around the edges, about 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly so that the lasagna will hold its shape when you cut it.


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