Calling all eggplant lovers. Melanzane is sure to become one of your favorite dinners.
Like Lasagna And Eggplant Parm?
If you like both of those popular casseroles, you are sure to love melanzane.
Unlike eggplant parmesan, this contains pasta. And unlike lasagna, melanzane contains eggplant and lots of it. This is really a dish for those who are crazy about eggplant in general. That would describe me because I’m passionate about the stuff.
I’m sure most of my readers in Europe already know this, but for those who don’t, in the US we call it eggplant. You guys call it aubergine, but any way you say it, it’s delicious!
Melanzane Is Vegetarian Easily Made Vegan
This is a great meatless meal any way you slice it. It’s vegetarian–for those who eat dairy that is.
The white (bechamel) sauce uses milk and I’m pretty sure you can find a vegan substitute. There’s vegan butter too–and surprisingly, it’s quite good. And there are many vegan cheese choices. Therefore this can be made totally vegan if you wish.
If you’re a vegetarian that eats dairy/eggs, it’s all ready to go for you guys.
Set Aside Time For This One
This is another one of those meals that requires some extra steps that I think are worth it. This is not something you can throw together and have it on the table in 30 minutes.
However, you can do a lot of prep the day before. For instance, you can roast the eggplant the day before and that’ll give you a head start. You can also make the whole shebang the day before and refrigerate it. That makes this a great “Monday” meal because you can do weekend prep. And seeing as how the melanzane must sit for 30 minutes before it’s baked, making this up the day before means you can get it right in the oven as soon as you get home.
- 2 large or 3 small eggplants sliced into 5mm/¼in rounds
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 6 –7 sheets oven-ready lasagne
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbs butter plus extra for greasing
- 2 tbs flour
- 2 1/4 cups hot milk
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup Parmesan
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 - 15 oz can chopped tomatoes 444ml
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- 2 tsp sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Spray a 13 x 9-inch ovenproof dish with non-stick spray.
- Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the prepared trays. Drizzle over the oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20–25 minutes turning the slices over halfway through the cooking time. Set aside.
- Lay the oven-ready lasagna in a dish and cover with hot water for 10 minutes to soften.
- To make the white sauce: whisk the flour and butter for a few minutes over a high heat to form a roux. Pour the warmed milk into the roux and whisk. Bring to the boil, whisking for a few minutes until smooth. Add the mustard and two-thirds of the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Set aside.
- To make the tomato sauce, put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- To assemble, spoon a third of the tomato sauce in the base of the prepared dish, top with a third of the béchamel. Arrange a third of the eggplant on top and 3–3½ sheets of lasagne (you may need to break the lasagne into pieces to make it fit in an even layer). Repeat so you have three layers of sauce and two layers of pasta, sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
- Leave to stand for 1 hour before cooking, or overnight.
- Bake for 35–45 minutes until golden-brown and bubbling. Stand for 5 minutes before serving.