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Vegetable Lasagne
I like to use this recipe of Greg’s with the Chez Panisse recipe for fresh egg pasta.!

Marinara Sauce:
1/4 c. olive oil
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
3 bay leaves
2 280oz cans crushed Italian tomatoes, drained.,
1/2 c. (or more) water
8 fresh basil leaves
1 tsp. sugar

Béchamel sauce:
1 cup sweet butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1 qt whole milk
salt
pinch of nutmeg

Vegetables
1-2 large Italian eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices
olive oil & salt
3-4 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices

Other:
olive oil
3-egg pasta
1/2 ­ 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


To make the marinara sauce: Heat the oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves and stir until fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 1/2 cup water. Simmer uncovered until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Stir in the basil and sugar. Season to taste with salt. Add more water if you want a thinner sauce. Puree if desired.

To make the vegetables: Lightly salt both sides of the sliced eggplant and place them between layers of paper towels. Put a flat, heavy object on top to gently extract the bitter moisture. Let the eggplant ‘dry’ like this for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Prepare a lightly oiled grill (medium heat) or heat a lightly oiled sauté pan over medium heat. Grill or sauté the eggplant until tender, about 3-4 minutes per side. Set aside.
Blanch the zucchini in a large pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain. Place the zucchini in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and to retain the bright green color. Drain. Set aside.

To make the béchamel sauce: In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in the flour until thoroughly combined. Stir until flour is cooked but not browned, about 5 minutes. Warm the milk over low heat. Slowly whisk the milk into the flour mixture until the sauce is silky and smooth. Continue to cook over very low heat until thick, about 30 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the sauce from scalding on the bottom. Season to taste with salt and nutmeg. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9x13 casserole dish.

Cook the noodles, a layer at a time, in a large pot of boiling water. (Each set should take about 30 seconds.) Drop them in cold water as you remove them from the hot, and then blot them dry on a clean towel. Transfer to the casserole dish. Spread the noodles with a thin layer of béchamel sauce, then a thin layer of marinara sauce, to c completely cover the noodles. Place a layer of eggplant on top of the sauce, and then zucchini. (The veggies don’t need be a solid layer.) Sprinkle lightly with parmesan.
Repeat the steps, using all of the noodles, sauce, veggies, and cheese, making about 5 layers, ending with cheese.
Cover the dish with foil and bake until browned and bubbling, about 45 minutes.


From Greg Sweeting of La Villa Poppi as cited in The Secrets of Success Cookbook.