By Paula Deen
- Prep time: 20 minutes
- Cook time: 70 minutes
- Servings: 4-6
- 2 large eggplants (about 3½ pounds), peeled and sliced lengthwise into ¼-inch thick slices
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 large chopped onion
- 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 (28-ounce) can low-sodium whole plum tomatoes in puree
- 6 leaves fresh basil
- 2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
- ½ package (5 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Position the oven rack in the top third of the oven and another rack in the bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Lay the sliced eggplant in a single layer on two rimmed baking sheets. Generously grease both sides of the eggplant with cooking spray and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place one baking sheet on the top rack and the other on the bottom rack and roast the eggplant for 15 minutes. Flip the eggplant slices over and switch the pans from one rack to the other. Roast until the eggplant slices are soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375 degrees.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until the onion is tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the oregano, tomatoes, and basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, parsley, egg yolk, and Parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread one-third of the tomato sauce into the bottom of an 11 by 7 inch baking dish. Lay enough eggplant slices to cover the bottom in a single layer, about 4 slices. Top with half of ricotta mixture and cover with another layer of eggplant. Begin the layering again and finish with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the top of the dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake the lasagna for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes, until golden on top and bubbling, Let the lasagna rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.