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Avanti-style Restaurant-style Eggplant Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 4 oz grated Parmesan cheese (1 cup)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Prepare grill. Peel and slice eggplant lengthwise into long, thin strips. Brush each side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill over hot coals, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Set aside.

Pesto Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 bunches fresh basil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 oz pine nuts (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 oz grated Parmesan cheese (6 Tbsp)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

In the bowl of a food processor, combine olive oil, basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Process for 1 minute or until finely chopped. Set aside.

Makes about 1/2 cup.

Tomato Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large ripe tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh basil, to taste

Preparation:

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic for about 1 minute. Core the tomatoes and purée in a food processor. Add puréed tomatoes to the saucepan and cook over medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes. Add salt and pepper and fresh basil to taste.

To assemble the lasagna, preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly grease a 13 x 9-inch pan.

Place 1 layer of lasagna noodles in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with 1 layer of grilled eggplant. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the eggplant slices, then top with a thin layer of pesto. Repeat this process 3 or 4 times or until no noodles or eggplant remain. Top with grated Parmesan and any remaining tomato sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover tightly with parchment paper and aluminum foil. Bake for about 40 minutes.

Makes 6 to 8

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