A Hearty Dish,
One full of Soul and Flavor.

Growing up in an Italian-American household I have always closely associated a good home-cooked meal with part of being home and feeling that ooey-gooey coziness and warmth of family and love. I figured I'd put my own twist on one of my mother's classics. My mother and I haven't always understood each other, but food was always something we could relate on.  If nothing else I definitely learned to eat well and to be intrigued to try new cooking techniques from her. So yes it has pasta, and cheese, and breaded eggplant, more cheese, and there's some spinach in there.  It's good for you, good for your soul.   

I won't sit here and preach that lasagna is healthy, because by mostly all standards it is just full of fat and starchy "bad" carbs - well, full of all that delicious, good for your soul, amazing starchy carbs. Every now and then you gotta feed your soul, make it hearty, rich in flavor, and make sure it has cheese - your soul will be happier; I promise.


 Pre-Cooked, Drained and Separated Box of Lasagna Pasta
(lay the pasta out so they don't stick.)
Slow Simmered Sauce/Meat Sauce
Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
Fresh Mozzarella
Shredded Mozzarella 
Baby Spinach Greens
Italian Parsley 
Large Eggplant Sliced
Bread Crumbs
All-Purpose Flour
3 Eggs
Vegetable Oil

\ \ optional: 

a tosses salad
a nice bottle of red wine

| BEAT the 2 eggs in a bowl, put flour on one plate, and bread crumbs on another plate. Then flour, then egg, and then bread crumb each slice of eggplant. Also put one egg in a bowl with the ricotta, salt, pepper and season accordingly (I like to add garlic and onion powder). 

| FRY up all the eggplant.  Don't over flip, let them sit until they are nice and brown on one side before flipping. 

| THE eggplant should look awesome like this.

| LET the eggplant rest on napkins and then you can stack them on plates. 

| AS FOR the sauce, I had the precooking hours previous.  I believe in homemade sauce, if you prefer to buy yours, thats okay too. 

| NEXT put a thin layer of sauce in a casserole or lasagna dish (I made 2 of these, hence the different dishes).  Then layer the lasagna pasta strips just slightly overlapping.  Then another thin layer of sauce and a few generous dollops of the ricotta mixture. Then add a layer a shredded mozzarella cheese.  The cheese to sauce ratio is probably the most crucial part of making an amazing lasagna.

| NOW layer the eggplant in like this.

| NEXT add another layer of sauce.

| NOW lay the baby spinach, then fresh mozzarella and then the shredded mozzarella over top.  I like to leave the spinach raw or very slightly wilt it because all the hot sauce and then baking will cook the spinach enough.

| THEN I like to drip another very small layer of sauce on top and then place the next layer of lasagna.

| NEXT, you guessed it. More sauce.  Then repeat the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheeses, sauce, eggplant, and spinach as you had before until you have layered as thick of a lasagna sa you'd like.  Then top with the final layer of just lasagna and sauce.

| FINALLY cover the sauce topped pasta with a crap ton of cheese. Both the mozz and the shredded mozzarella.  

| BAKE the lasagna for twenty minutes at 350 degrees.  Take it out and then let rest. Then heat again at 350 degrees for an additional 15 minutes when you are ready to serve.  Make sure to let it rest and cool for about 10 minutes before you serve it.  

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