Vegetarian No-Pasta Lasagna
2 large eggplants
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 large egg
1/2 cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil, shredded
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped fine
2 tablespoons onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 cups (4 whole) roasted peppers
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups spinach (optional)
1 large yellow squash, thinly sliced lengthwise (optional)
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450°F. Heat oil in skillet and cook garlic and onion until they become aromatic and begin to brown. Add stewed tomatoes and 1 tablespoon dried oregano. Once tomatoes begin to bubble, stir in tomato paste. Reduce heat to low, add salt and pepper to taste, cover and let simmer lightly while you continue.
Slice eggplant lengthwise in 1/4-inch slices. Spread out eggplant on a rimmed cookie sheets sprayed lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Salt the slices generously on both sides, sprinkle with thyme, and brush (fingers are fine) with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil per slice. Roast eggplant in oven until tender and slightly browned. If using yellow squash, also roast briefly until soft and pliable. Remove and let cool enough to handle. Reduce oven to 375°F.
Meanwhile, stir together ricotta cheese, egg, remaining oregano, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. In a 12x9-inch baking dish spread 1/4 cup of tomato sauce. Cover with 3 or 4 eggplant slices, then half of the roasted peppers, and then a third of the ricotta cheese mixture, followed by a third of the mozzarella. Sprinkle half the basil over cheeses, and then spinach and yellow squash (if using). Cover with more tomato sauce, eggplant, peppers, ricotta, mozzarella and basil. Top with remaining eggplant, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and any remaining Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for about 15 minutes more or until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Remove and let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.