WEEKDAYS 1e|12c|p

Baked Lasagne Alla Norma

Mario Batali
Servings: 8 - 10
1 to 2 hr
Part 1 of 2

Layers of eggplant-tomato Sauce, b?chamel, and pasta...what else could you ask for in an Italian comfort food!

  • Ingredients
  • step-by-step directions
Baked Lasagne Alla Norma
Eggplant-Tomato Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for pan)
  • 2 medium eggplants (peeled and cut intomedium dice)
  • 1 medium red onion (cut into 1/4-inch dice)
  • 2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans Italian plum tomatoes (crushed by hand, juices reserved)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (about 2 large sprigs)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted B=butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
To Assemble
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 (1 pound) package lasagne pasta
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Ricotta Salata cheese (grated to serve)
  • Make The Eggplant-Tomato Sauce: Preheat the oven to 475°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
  • Place the eggplant on the preheated baking sheet and roast until soft and dark golden brown (15-20 minutes). Remove and allow to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
  • While the eggplant is roasting, heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12-to 14-inch sauté pan until smoking. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, and thyme and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, and season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked eggplant cubes and simmer for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Make The Béchamel: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Cook until light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the milk, 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until smooth. bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside.
  • Assemble The Dish: Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a pasta pot and add the salt. Set up an ice bath next to the stovetop. Drop the pasta into the boiling water, 6 or 7 pieces at a time, and cook about 1 minute less than suggested on the package. Transfer to the ice bath to cool, then drain on kitchen towels, laying the pasta flat. Repeat to cook the rest of the pasta.
  • Spread a layer of the eggplant-tomato sauce over the bottom of a 9-by13-inch lasagne pan and top with a sprinkling of parmigiano-reggiano, a layer of pasta, a layer of béchamel, another layer of eggplant-tomato sauce, a sprinkling of parmigiano-reggiano, and a layer of pasta. Repeat until all ingredients are used up, finishing with a layer of pasta topped with béchamel and a sprinkling of parmigiano-reggiano.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the sauces are bubbling. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with ricotta salta grated over the top and extra sauce if desired.

    - Lasagna is a great dish to make a day ahead of time for a large group of people. Build the lasagna and bake before serving.
    - It is also important to let the lasagna rest when it comes out of the oven, so all of the flavors and layers come together.
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