What if I told you that it was okay to eat an entire pan of melty, bubbly, decadent lasagna?
I. Love. Pasta. I could seriously eat pasta every day and be just totally blissful. Steak? I’ll pass. Linguine? I’ll take two, please.
During the holidays, my family makes pounds of homemade fettuccine. I literally have 3 servings and I am still smiling on my third plate — no regrets. Go fresh pasta or go home.
Unfortunately, but also fortunately, this only happens once a year. This means I have to find other ways to satisfy my intense calling for pasta. I was alone on a rainy Sunday night after a disappointing shopping trip and I finally (don’t you hate that?) picked something on Netflix to watch. I had a thought — “pasta would be so good right now.” I didn’t want just any pasta. I could have easily whipped a fresh tomato sauce and I’m sure I had some pasta sitting in the pantry.. I could have even made my own if I was feeling a little more motivated. But I was feeling lazy. And I had a bottle of cab sav opening up in the fridge.
I saw a recipe on Pinterest this week for a vegetable lasagna on the Happy Healthy Hunters blog and I was instantly inspired. I loved the idea of using sweet potato as the filling instead of making a huge pot of sauce with mounds of cheese and it was important for it to be actually made of veggies — not layers of pasta with vegetables. I made a few changes, added some extras, and the result was lasagna perfection.
It was even delicious the next day — “this is so good,” Matt said, muffled with a mouthful. Man-approved veggie lasagna? Oh yeah, baby.
This was so easy to throw together and even with just a small amount of melty fontina and ricotta cheese, this lasagna hit the spot. I watched Life Partners, which was pretty good, Bright Lights, which was just okay, and Lisa Ling’s This is Life, the Sugar Babies episode. I know what you’re thinking. Party animal.
Eggplant & Sweet Potato Lasagna
- 1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise
- 2 sweet potatoes
- chopped basil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- half a pint of halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup ricotta
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1/4 cup shredded fontina
- 1 large bunch greens
- extra virgin olive oil
Slice eggplant lengthwise and place in colander. Lightly salt eggplant and set in sink to draw out liquid. Arrange tomatoes on parchment-lined baking sheet. Spray or drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and roast at 400° for about 20 minutes or so, until slightly browned and beginning to burst. When eggplant has sat for 20-30 minutes, pat very dry, and pan fry — spray pan with olive oil over medium heat and season with pepper. Flip and cook each side to a golden brown. Set aside.
Wash and create holes in sweet potatoes (poke holes using a fork or sharp knife) and place in microwave for 7 minutes each. You can also boil them until they’re cooked through but popping them in the microwave really cuts the cook time. Remove skin once cooled to touch and cooked and combine in a bowl with garlic, ricotta, and milk and more pepper.
Arrange half of eggplant in a parchment lined baking dish, spread sweet potato mix on top, add tomatoes, some greens and smooth with the back of a spoon. Repeat layer. On the final layer, add shredded fontina and bake in oven at 350° until cheese is bubbled to perfection. Top with basil, slice and serve.