About this recipe:This lasagne is a fantastic vegetarian main course that is full of flavour. Aubergines can taste somewhat bland - but not in this lasagne! This recipe also reheats really well, but don't count on leftovers!
3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 tablespoons plain flour
white pepper, freshly ground
12 lasagne sheets, uncooked
4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
225g mozzarella cheese, grated
50g fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
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Peel aubergines. If they are not very fresh (as is usually the case): cut aubergines into slices, sprinkle with salt and let stand for 30 minutes, then pat dry with kitchen paper (this releases the bitter juices).
Preheat oven to 220 C / Gas 7.
While allowing the aubergines to stand, prepare the bechamel sauce: bring the milk with the garlic cloves to the boil and remove from heat. Set aside. In a saucepan melt butter and stir in flour. Saute, stirring constantly, then gradually add the hot milk through a sieve to the saucepan. Continue stirring constantly until a thick bechamel without lumps is formed. Simmer on a very low heat, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Drizzle the aubergines with olive oil and bake in preheated oven 20 minutes until brown on each side. Crush the boiled garlic cloves and mix in. Stir in the basil and pepper.
Grease a rectangular baking dish (lasagne dish). Reheat the bechamel sauce stir it well. If it is too stiff, add some more milk.
Pour some of the bechamel into the bottom of the dish. Lay a layer of lasagne sheets over it, and spread some of the aubergine mixture over it. Spread more bechamel over this. Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan on top. Repeat the process in the same fashion until all the aubergine and mozzarella are used up (keeping a little bit of the bechamel sauce over). Place the last layer of lasagne sheets on top and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Press down gently on the lasagne so that the sheets are completely covered with the sauce.
Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 30 minutes at 200 C / Gas 6. Remove the aluminium foil and bake another 15 minutes. Stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.