I bought a couple of aubergines and some ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, and I had a plan for what I was going to do with them. I’d envisaged stuffing the aubergines with a mega-cheesy filling and then baking them. But the more I thought about it, the more that wasn’t what I wanted to eat. So, with the kitchen clock counting down to dinnertime, I had to come up with something else. And quickly.
Having not made a lasagne for ages, I thought this might be a good opportunity. Ricotta cheese is always a good choice in a lasagne, and everyone in this house loves aubergines. Plus, it’s a one dish meal – easy. Decision made.
But, as I mentioned before, it’s hard for diabetics (like DH) to eat lasagne, because working out the amount of carbohydrate in a serving can be quite difficult. So this time, I made three individual lasagnes, and weighed out the quantity of pasta in each one before assembling them. Of course, if you’re not catering for a diabetic, you probably don’t need to go to this kind of length, and could just as easily make one big lasagne. Although there’s something quite nice about having your own personal dish.
Making individual lasagnes also meant I could cater for Kipper’s recent (and hopefully temporary) aversion to tomato sauce. I was slightly worried that the pasta wouldn’t cook properly without the moisture from the tomato sauce, but she seemed to yum it down with no problems, so I think we can assume it was fine. Aubergines are one of her favourite things in the world though.
These were full of summer flavours – tomato, basil, aubergine – plus the ricotta cheese and melty mozzarella made them filling and hearty enough to need no accompaniment.
They took just over an hour to make, but I’m pretty confident you could do it in under an hour if you didn’t also have a small person demanding snacks, stickers, someone to pick up the thing she’s dropped on the floor, etc etc. This made 3 individual aubergine and ricotta lasagnes.
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- 2 medium onions
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- Handful fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces.
- 1 large or 2 small aubergines - about 500g in total
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 250g ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- pinch ground black pepper
- 4-6 sheets lasagne
- 2 balls mozzarella, cut into 0.5cm slices
- First make the tomato sauce. Peel and finely chop the onions. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Fry the onions for a few minutes until soft, then add the garlic, crushed, and the chopped tomatoes. Stir well, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and process briefly with a stick blender (optional) then stir in the torn basil leaves and set aside.
- Meanwhile, slice the aubergines into 1cm thick slices. Preheat the grill to high. Brush the slices with olive oil on both sides, and arrange on a baking sheet. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side until soft and browning.
- Combine the ricotta cheese, egg and black pepper and mix well.
- Put 2tbsp of the tomato sauce into the bottom of each dish. Add a layer of pasta, followed by a layer of aubergine slices, then a layer of ricotta. Repeat the layers once more. Finally, arrange a layer of slices mozzarella on the top.
- Bake the lasagnes at 180C for 25-30 minutes until piping hot and browning on the top.