Eggplant Lasagna (no pasta!)

Eggplant is at the farmer's market now, and what the heck to do with it. My sister recently bought some at one of her local markets, but had to skip town before she could use it. So, hand me down eggplant ended up in my kitchen. 

One night this week I can home from work around 6 and really wanted a home cooked meal, and to use up these eggplants before they went bad. In about 20 minutes depending on your multitasking abilities and knife skills, this baby will be in the oven. There are so many reasons I loved this dish. Easy and fast to make. Low carb. Easy clean up. Really, so delicious. Leftovers!

No Pasta Eggplant Lasagna
makes 4-6 servings

1 yellow onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp dried Italian oregano
1 large purple eggplant (thinly sliced)
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper

Make your sauce first, and then prep everything else. Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a medium sauce pan. Add onions and let cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, crushed red pepper flakes , and cook for 1 minute. Now add the whole can of crushed tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper, and let simmer for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. As the sauce simmers, slice up the eggplant, into 1/4 inch slices. If they're too thick they won't cook. Grease a square or other small baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil. 

Now, begin the layering process as follows:
Layer 1: Sauce to coat the bottom, 5-6 eggplant slices, mozzarella, Parmesan, salt, pepper
Layer 2: 5-6 eggplant slices, sauce, cottage cheese, Parmesan, salt, pepper
Layer 3: 5-6 eggplant slices, sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, salt, pepper
Layer 4: 5-6 eggplant slices, sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, salt, pepper

If you have extra ingredients, and your dish allows it, go ahead and make another layer. The top layer should finish with cheese though!

Cover the dish with foil and pop into the oven for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes, remove the foil and let cook for another 10-15 minutes. 

Remove and let cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve with extra parmesan and don't leave any sauce behind in the pan!

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