One bite of this tasty dish won't be enough.
Homemade Sausage and Eggplant Lasagna
- 1 Large Eggplant
- 1 - 2 cups Tomato Sauce (jarred or homemade)
- 15 ounces Ricotta Cheese
- Grated Smoked Mozzarella Cheese (to taste)
- Grated Pecorino Romano (to taste)
- 1 head of garlic (roasted)
- 1/2 Bunch of Fresh Basil plus more for layering and topping (chopped)
- 1 - 2 Sprigs Fresh Oregano (leaves removed and roughly chopped)
- 1 Egg (whisked)
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- 1/3 pound Homemade Hot Italian Sausage (browned and cooked through or store-bought)
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- Hot Pepper Flakes (for garnish)
- Preheat half of the grill to high heat, and the other half to more moderate heat.
- Cut the eggplant into rounds. Salt the slices liberally, and place them on paper towels to drain the liquid.
- Prep Ricotta Cheese Mixture: Add basil, oregano, and several cloves of roasted garlic to the cheese. Add a small handful of smoked mozzarella as well as 1-2 tablespoons of the pecorino Romano. Stir, and taste. Add salt, pepper, and more cheese if necessary. If you like smoky flavors, feel free to add more mozzarella; likewise, if you like things garlicky add more garlic. We usually add most of the head. When you are happy with the ricotta cheese, add the egg, stirring to combine.
- Grill the Eggplant: Wipe the excess liquid and salt off of the eggplant; brush with olive oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the eggplant on the hot side of the grill for 1-2 minutes per side, or until grill marks are formed and the eggplant is softened, but not falling apart. Reserve.
- To Assemble: Begin with a layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of the pans, followed with a layer of eggplant, then ricotta cheese, and crumbled sausage. Repeat, layering in this manner until the eggplant is gone! The top layer should be sauce followed by more grated smoked mozzarella and a little pecorino Romano. Drizzle some olive oil over top to encourage browning.
- Cover the pan with foil and place on the moderate heat side of the grill to cook. If your grill has a thermostat it should read about 350- just like an oven. Cook covered for about 30 minutes. Check the lasagna at this point to see if it is bubbling at the sides. When it has begun to bubble, remove foil to encourage the cheese to brown. Our grill has a rotisserie burner; we light it at this time and it helps to brown the cheese. If your lasagnas won’t brown, remove from the grill and place under the broiler in the oven until the cheese is brown and crusty.
- Allow to rest for as long as you can stand, (set the kitchen timer for 20 minutes) and then unmold the spring form pan to reveal the lasagna. Garnish with additional basil, cheese, and hot pepper flakes.