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Eggplant Lasagna

(Serves 4-6)
Eggplant Lasagna with Meat Sauce

1 large eggplant
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
8 ounces ground beef, turkey or chicken
3 cups Traditional Tomato Sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil.

Cut the end of the eggplant and slice lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices.
You should have a total of 10 slices.

Brush both sides of each slice with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place the slices on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 7 minutes.
Turn the slices over and bake for an additional 7 minutes.
Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks to cool.

In a large skillet, break up the ground meat with a fork and sauté until no pink remains.  Drain the fat from the meat.  Add the meat into a large saucepan with the tomato sauce.  Simmer the sauce 15 to 20 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan and basil.
Mix well to blend the ingredients.

Spread one cup of the sauce evenly into a 7 x 11-inch baking dish.  On top of the sauce, layer half of the eggplant slices.  Next layer on half of the ricotta mixture, spreading it evenly across the top.  Spread 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella over the ricotta mixture. Repeat the layers sauce, eggplant, ricotta and mozzarella one more time.

Spread the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella; sprinkle with dried oregano. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Broil on high for 2-3 minutes to brown the top. Let the lasagna rest for 15 minutes before serving.
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Pasta alla Norma
This is a low-carb and gluten-free version of lasagna, in which slices of eggplant take the place of the traditional lasagna pasta strips.  The eggplant is layered with a luscious cheese filling and a tomato-meat sauce.  You can use any type of ground meat that you prefer ... beef, turkey, chicken or a  vegetarian protein substitute.  
The set includes:1-qt. saucepan with cover, 2-qt. saucepan with cover, 3-qt. saucepan with cover, 3-qt. saute pan with helper handle and cover, 8-qt. stockpot with cover, 8-inch non-stick skillet, 10-inch skillet with cover, and steamer insert. Cast stainless steel Cool Grip stick handles are contoured for a secure grip and designed to stay cool on the stovetop.
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