If you know me, you know I love pasta. Two years in Italy can do that to a person. Unfortunately, my blood sugar does not always “love” large portions of pasta consumed in one sitting without a hefty dose of insulin and a lovely evening post-dinner passeggiata (leisurely stroll). I also don’t love restriction, particularly cutting out foods I love, so I try to find ways to add veggies to my pasta dishes.
As November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, I thought I would celebrate by posting another veggie-laden pasta dish I made last week with Matt. This lasagna includes eggplant rather than my typical zucchini lasagna as Matt is not a fan of zucchini.
- 1 cup frozen spinach thawed and drained (or 3 cups fresh spinach lightly sautéed)
- 2 cups cottage cheese or ricotta
- Pinch salt
- Pinch ground black pepper
- 1 tbs olive oil
- Approximately 6 long whole wheat lasagna noodles (you can also use egg noodles)
- 2 cups tomato sauce (homemade or store bought- I’m a fan of Rao’s Arrabbiata)
- 1 large eggplant
- Handful shredded Parmesan and/or mozzarella to sprinkle over the top
Preheat oven to 375.
Use a mandolin or sharp knife to thinly slice the eggplant into thin flat strips. Drizzle eggplant strips with olive oil, season with salt, and spread strips on a baking sheet so that they lay flat. Pre-bake the eggplant while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Heat 2 quarts water in a large saucepan on high heat.
Place cottage cheese (or ricotta) and salt and pepper in food processor. Blend until cottage cheese is smooth and creamy. Add spinach and blend until spinach is mixed in with cottage cheese mixture.
Once water is boiling, add olive oil to water. This will keep the noodles from sticking together. Cook noodles for one minute less than package says. You want your noodles to be al dente as they will be baked later on.
Assemble your lasagna. Line your pan with a thin layer of sauce. Add a single layer of noodles. Add a layer of the spinach cottage cheese. Top layer with a layer of pre-cooked eggplant “noodles”. Using a spoon or brush, spread a layer of sauce over the eggplant layer. Continue assembling in this order until you reach the top of the pan or run out of ingredients. Top final layer of eggplant with sauce and a layer of mozzarella/parmesan.
Cover with foil and bake in oven for approximately 1 hour or until eggplant is fully cooked. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes prior to eating.