Melanzane and Zucchini Lasagna by Marla Gulley Roncaglia

Melanzane and Zucchini Lasagna

2 large eggplant/aubergine/melanzane, peeled and sliced lengthwise in medium thick slices,
2-4 large zucchini
4-6 large tomatoes, fresh or a large can of crushed or diced tomatoes
Basil, handful fresh, julienned
1 large or 2 medium eggs500g (2-12 oz containers) Ricotta
200g (1c ) Parmesan or other hard grating cheese, and a bit more for topping
1/4 t or less nutmeg, fresh grated
Salt and pepper
Hot red pepper

Feel free at add any tidbits of goat or other flavorful cheese you might have kicking around begging to get used up. This recipes lends it self to much variation.
Wash and prepare your vegetables, slicing them lengthwise so the are about 1/4″/1/2cm thick. Heat your grill up and begin grilling your vegetables, while you prepare the remainder of your ingredients.
Wash and pat dry the basil and cut up into thing strips, or if you prefer, tear into bite size bits
In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg and Parmesan cheese. Add a few good gratings of nutmeg.
Season the cheese mixture with salt, pepper and a pinch of hot pepper.
Take a 9″x13″pan, or something equivalent, and grease with olive oil or or line with baking paper, like I do for an easy clean up.
Drizzle a bit of olive oil and begin you vegetable layering with grilled slices of aubergine laid singly sibe by side to cover the bottom and cover with a single layer of the zucchini, sprinkling a bit of salt and olive oil if you haven’t seasoned the vegetables while grilling. Spread 1/3 to half of the ricotta mixture over they layered vegetables. Cover the cheese, with a single layer of sliced tomatoes or part of your crushed tomatoes, sprinkle some salt over and scatter about 1/3 of the fresh basil. This is not a super tomatoey saucy version, so it doesn’t have to be a solid layer of crushed tomatoes, but a solid layer of sliced tomatoes is good.
Continue layering 2 more times if you have enough ingredients ending with the tomatoes as the top layer. Try to use the last of your basil under the tomatoes for the top layer so it doesn’t burn. Sprinkle a light layer of parmesan on top.
Cover loosely with another layer of paper and aluminum foil. Try to keep above the top so it doesn’t stick to the top layer.
Bake in a preheated 350*/190* for 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake a few minute langer till bubbly and the top browned up.
Let the lasagna rest 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Usually even more flavorful the second day. You make it one day ahead before cooking.

Aubergine “Lasagne” with mussels and smoked scamorza by Temple Perrotta

Aubergine “Lasagne”with mussels and smoked scamorza


Serves 6 as a starter or 4 as a main
2 large aubergines
1kg fresh mussels in their shells
g thinly pre-sliced smoked scamorza cheese
One cup total chopped onions, celery and parsley for the broth base
One cup white wine, flour and a little butter
Oil for cooking; olive oil q.b.

Wash, pat dry and trim the aubergines. Cut into 0.5cm slices and lightly salt; leave to drain for at least 1 hr. Clean and rinse the mussels; leave over the sink in a colander.
Rinse the aubergines and pat dry. Lightly flour and brush off any excess flour. Fry in hot oil, turning once, until soft inside and crispy golden outside; drain on paper towels. Set aside in a warm oven until assembly.
In a large pot, put in just enough olive oil to sauté the diced vegetables until soft; add the mussels and half the wine. Cover and cook on high heat until the mussels have opened, stirring gently once or twice. Off heat and drain the mussels, reserving the broth.
Pick the meat from the shells, discarding any that haven’t opened or are dry and shrivelled. Set aside.
Make a medium béchamel with strained broth and the rest of the wine.
Now assemble: in a baking dish, place a layer of aubergine, a sprinkling of mussels and a layer of sliced scamorza, covering this last with a thin layer of béchamel; repeat, ending with a layer of béchamel.
Bake in a 210° oven until the top is bubbling, about 12-14 minutes.
Comments: this dish is a lot tastier than it looks!