Get the Recipe
Essential techniques, recipes, and more!
We're pretty solidly into fall weather now, but that doesn't mean some summer produce isn't still available. Case in point: my cousin just gave me a few late-season eggplant from his garden. To do something with them that felt appropriate to the season, I decided to make a lasagna, layering the eggplant and other vegetables with pasta and Gruyère cheese.
For the eggplant layers, I started with the idea of ratatouille, then modified it to give it more of a cold-weather favor profile. That included adding meaty depth with bits of prosciutto, some root vegetable sweetness with diced carrots, and eliminating the summer squash and peppers that are typical. I also added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for some subtle tartness.
For keep things easy, I sautéed the onions and carrots, then added the peeled eggplant. Once that mixture melds and softens, I add the garlic and pancetta , followed by tomato, vinegar, and crushed red pepper. After simmering for 20 minutes, it's ready for the lasagna.
Because this isn't a by-the-books lasagna, I decided to use a 50-50 mix of Gruyère and mozzarella, for a good combination of melted-mozz stretchiness and nutty flavor. The whole thing is assembled in layers, with some ricotta and marinara thrown in for kicks. Bake it for an hour, and it's all set. I have to say, the only thing that may be better than the taste of summer produce is the taste of summer produce in the fall.
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.