Now I love good lasagna, but sometimes I want a healthier version, or a less caloric version. So technically, maybe these are not lasagnas, because there’s no pasta, but they are constructed like lasagna, and taste every bit as good. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with great alternatives. The nice thing about all lasagnas is that you can easily make a single serving, a small casserole, or a large pan for company.
The first one I made with plantains and leftover cooked garbanzos. Thinly slice the plantains, and cook them in boiling water until cooked. Purée the garbanzos in the processor with some of their cooking liquid (I used lots of spice and some tomatoes). Layer the sliced plantains with the purée and grated cheese, like you would a regular lasagna. And I had cooked greens, so they got layered in too. It was really delicious.
The next lasagna, I used eggplant and wanted a similar sauce to puttanesca. I don’t make eggplant parmesan much anymore because it’s so high in calories (the way I make it!), and it’s so labor intensive. So this bridges the gap for me.
- 1-2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (2 oz) can anchovies in olive oil (you cannot skip these, buy them, use them)
- 1 small fresh jalapeno, and minced or use some red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 TBSP pressed garlic
- 1 TBSP minced parsley
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1 tsp dry basil
- 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
- 2-3 TBSP capers
- 15 stuffed green olives, sliced
- 24 oz marinara sauce
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium eggplant, sliced in thin slices (I use the long eggplant)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese
- In a large saucepan heat the TBSP of oil and add anchovies with their oil and garlic. Cook for a couple minutes, stirring. Then add the jalapeno, parsley, oregano, and basil. Cook and stir until you cannot see the anchovies any more.
- Add vinegar, capers, green olives, and marinara sauce. Stir and let come to a simmer.
- Meantime, in a large skillet heat the 1/4 cup of oil. Saute the eggplant until lightly brown on both sides. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- In a greased baking dish, layer the eggplant, marinara, and a light sprinkling of cheese. Start with a little marinara in the bottom of the pan, them eggplant, then marinara, then cheese.....
- Place lasagna pan on a baking sheet, and bake 350° about 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Let stand at least 15 minutes before cutting.
Last was a potato lasagna, and how could that be bad?
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta (mine was well drained)
- 2 eggs
- Salt and pepper
- 24 oz marinara sauce or meat sauce
- 5 russet potatoes, thinly sliced (I used the processor)
- 1/2 cup basil pesto (optional)
- 6-7 oz grated Italian cheese (actually I used Monterey Jack)
- Heat oven to 325°
- Mix together ricotta, eggs, salt and pepper
- In a greased deep baking pan, smear marinara on bottom, place a layer of potatoes, smear with a little of the ricotta mixture, dollop on a little pesto, sprinkle with a little grated cheese, and smear on a little marinara. Continue layering until you've not quite filled the pan to the top. Finish with a layer of potato, a little marinara, and a sprinkling of cheese.
- Place the lasagna dish on a baking pan, in case it drips, and bake for 1 3/4 - 2 hours uncovered until the potatoes are cooked through (test with a knife). If it starts to brown too much, lightly cover the top with foil. Let sit for 15 minutes before cutting.