Vegetarian Lasagna with Eggplant Ragu

Vegetarian Lasagna with Eggplant Ragu is lasagna noodles layered with a rustic eggplant and roasted bell pepper ragu, ricotta cheese, and smoked mozzarella.  It’s cheesy, smoky, and satisfying!

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I’m excited to be guest posting today for my friend Kelly over at Hidden Fruits and Veggies.  Kelly and I have been following each other for a long while — in a blogging way, of course. 🙂  You know how much I geek out over fresh produce, so it makes complete sense that I would love what Kelly makes.  Have you checked out her blog?  If you do, you’ll find recipes like.(list some of the latest).   Whether you’re vegetarian or not, you’ll find something delicious at Hidden Fruits & Veggies. 🙂

I toiled a bit about what to make for Kelly.  All she asked was that the dish be vegetarian, so that meant I was very indecisive about what to make.  I know she loves cookies.  I know she loves bread.  I know she loves cheese.  Well, I latched onto the cheese thing and thought lasagna would be perfect…a nice, hearty vegetarian lasagna.

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This lasagna is so flavorful and satisfying that you won’t miss the meat.  And that’s a promise.

I’ve been on a baking tear (as you know), and holiday foods are abundant.  When I want a reprieve from holiday fare,  my mind immediately goes to nice, rustic pasta dishes.  There’s nothing like a hearty sauce layered with pasta and cheese is there?  I hope you’re with me. 🙂

The word ragu often means a meat sauce, but this eggplant ragu is completely vegetarian.  Why the word ragu, then?  It also means “to stimulate the appetite” in Italian or French, and that definition suits this eggplant ragu perfectly, because it certainly stimulated my appetite.

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This sauce has plenty of eggplant, roasted red and yellow peppers, tomatoes, and herbs.  The eggplant is so succulent and it melts in your mouth like buttah, and the roasted peppers add a nice depth of flavor.  The clincher is some balsamic vinegar added at the end, which works some major magic.   This sauce is rustic, chunky, and absolutely bursting at the seams with flavor. 🙂

Lasagna is not complete without cheese, of course, so I spread a thin layer of ricotta over the lasagna noodles, then topped the sauce with thin slices of smoked mozzarella.  I’ve had an eggplant-smoked mozzarella thing lately.  Actually, it’s more than a thing, it’s a full blown thang.  There’s a difference, didn’t you know? 😉

I didn’t subject my kids to this dish because I knew where that was gonna go.  My husband really liked it, however — enough to eat it two days in a row.  Normally he’s not a fan of eggplant, but the eggplant here was so tender it melted in your mouth like buttah.  And the roasted peppers and all that cheese — who could resist?  Ok, my kids can, but besides them, I don’t know anyone.  Next time you want a healthy, veggie-packed dish, look no further.  Your veggie-full, cheesy lasagna awaits!

Check out the recipe over at Hidden Fruits & Veggies!

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