I always like to find substitutes for meat in food. Those of you who know me know I am not the hugest meat eater and I love veggies. The hubs is kinda the opposite, so I try to balance it out and make both. I plant to have a monster sized garden this year, so be looking out for more veggie recipes once things take off in my garden. (Let's hope it is veggies that take off not the weeds like last year!) ;)
1-2 Eggplants (It will all depend on the size of the veggie. Smaller ones are usually more tender and less tough)
2 Cans Whole Tomatoes (large cans)
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
5 Cloves Garlic crushed (If you don't own a garlic press INVEST! you won't be sorry!)
1 Small Onion diced
Fresh Basil (I usually use a sandwich size ziplock bag full.)
2 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Dried Rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 8oz Ricotta Cheese
1 8oz Cream Cheese (I totally stole this idea from my friend Gloria!)
1 lb Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Preheat oven to 400
Use a mandoline slicer and slice your eggplant and zucchini length wise into thin slices.
Once all of your eggplant and zucchini are sliced, put a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet. Cook on Md/high till the veggie cooks through. (like 3 min per side) Put to the side for later. In the same large skillet pour your canned tomatoes with juice and all. Add your onion garlic and dried spices/seasoning. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15 min on low heat. While this is simmering julienne your basil, (look to previous blog for directions on the cut) and thinly slice your fresh mozzarella.
Once the sauce is done cooking, layer everything in a 9x13 baking dish starting with the sauce. Sauce, zucchini or eggplant, basil, Ricotta, Sauce, Zucchini or eggplant, basil, cream cheese, mozzarella, Sauce etc etc until your baking dish is full ending with a layer of the fresh mozzarella.
Everything is already cooked, so you just need to bake it until it is warmed through. I usually cover my dish with foil for the first 20 min and then cook it for another 15 min uncovered to melt the cheese nicely.
Serve it as you would lasagna!