Eggplant and Burrata Lasagna

eggplant burrata lasagna Lets just start out by talking about burrata cheese because it’s the key ingredient in this lasagna, no ricotta is required. Burrata is quite popular now but if you’re unfamiliar with it burrata is a basically a fresh cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell consists of fresh mozzarella but when you gently tear into the middle it’s filled with soft cream filled curds, it’s heavenly!

If you can get a hold of the imported burrata straight from Italy, please do so it’s such a treat, smear it on some crusty bread and you’ll be speechless! The good news is it’s also produced here in the U.S. and it’s pretty easy to find and that type is perfect for this recipe.

eggplant burrata lasagna You’ll also need some roasted tomatoes and roasted eggplant slices, marinara and lasagna sheets, the kind you have to boil. I never got on that no-boil band wagon, I’ve tried them a few times and didn’t like the taste or texture it’s just not the same in my opinion, so for this recipe boil your pasta please!

eggplant burrata lasagna Serving the lasagna in individual gratin dishes makes for a nice presentation and it’s so much more special that way, don’t you think? Prepped and ready to go into the oven, which by the way you can prepare ahead of time.

eggplant burrata lasagna

If you have a smaller size dish you can always cut your lasagna sheets to fit it, after it’s boiled it’s easy to cut. I used three sheets per serving.

eggplant burrata lasagna

This is so light and luxurious, the creamy burrata is the shining star that takes this over the top and the eggplant and roasted tomatoes add so much depth of flavor.

It’s a winner, make it for someone special.

(Follow Proud Italian Cook on Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up during the week.)

4.0 from 1 reviews
Eggplant and Burrata Lasagna
 
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Ingredients
  • Ingredients are for two servings, feel free to double or triple.
  • 3 balls of burrata
  • 1 medium eggplant cut into circles, roasted or pan sauteed in olive oil until golden crisp
  • 1 pint of colored cherry tomatoes, left whole, roasted in olive oil with fresh basil
  • 1 quart of marinara sauce, preferably homemade, (you'll have leftover)
  • 6 pasta sheets, three per serving, the kind you have to boil, cooked al'dente
  • fresh basil for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 individual gratin dishes with olive oil.
  2. Spoon marinara on the bottom of each.
  3. Place one sheet of lasagna down and spoon marinara on top then add three slices of cooked eggplant.
  4. Gently tear into the burrata and place pieces on top of eggplant.
  5. Scatter the roasted tomatoes on top with some shredded basil.
  6. Then repeat two more times. pasta sheet, marinara, eggplant, burrata, tomatoes and basil.
  7. Place gratin dishes on a rimmed baking sheet for easy in and out of oven.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes just until warmed and burrata has gently melted.
  9. Let it rest a few minutes before serving when sauce has stopped bubbling.
  10. Garnish with more shredded basil.

 

 

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Sausage Bread

sausage bread This recipe connects me to my childhood, I remember my mom use to make this for special holidays and occasions. When I was a kid I thought making this was such a big ordeal, but when I got married and started making it on my own I realized just how simple it was to put together.

sausage bread You need one batch of pizza dough, you can either buy it or make your own. I have to admit working with yeast is not my favorite thing to do, I use to be more enthusiastic when I was younger, now I avoid it at all costs, I’d rather go out and buy a good quality pizza dough which fortunately I have many sources that surround me.

You’ll also need the best Italian sausage you can find, I like using hot, it adds so much flavor and honestly rolled up in all that bread dough you can hardly taste the heat. You’ll need a good melting cheese like mozzarella or in this case I used a cheese called Tuma, available only at Eastertime here in Chicagoland. Basically you will need a cheese that melts and then binds when cooled. Grated Romano, lots of black pepper and some fresh chopped parsley top off all the flavors.

There are any different variations of this bread but this is my favorite.

sausage bread Roll the mixture up being careful to seal the edges and baking it seam side down so no leakage occurs.

sausage bread Every time I make this I say I should of added some additional red pepper flakes or more Romano, so don’t be afraid to spice it up!

sausage bread

You won’t believe how something so simple to make can taste like a million bucks, I hope you try it!

Follow along with me on Instagram to see what I’m cooking up during the week.

4.7 from 3 reviews
Sausage Bread
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 ball of pizza dough, store bought or homemade
  • 1 lb. of hot or medium Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 8 oz. of brick mozzarella, cut into small chunks, do not use fresh mozzarella. I also like Tuma cheese which is only available during Easter time
  • a good ½ cup or so of grated romano cheese.
  • fresh parsley
  • black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 egg for brushing on top
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Have your dough at room temperature before rolling out.
  3. Brown sausage in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil,cooking until you see no pink, breaking up the pieces into medium crumbles, let it cool down a bit before adding to the dough.
  4. Roll your dough into a large rectangle.
  5. Scatter cooked sausage all over dough leaving a 1 inch border all the way around.
  6. Sprinkle you chunked mozzarella or Tuma cheese evenly all over sausage.
  7. Sprinkle grated cheese, evenly all over.
  8. Sprinkle chopped parsley, all over.
  9. Grate black pepper on top of mixture, at this point you could add some additional red pepper flakes or more grated cheese, it's up to you, depending on the heat of your sausage.
  10. Start to roll the dough, jelly roll style, tucking in the ends as you're rolling so no leakage occurs while baking, pinching dough making sure it's sealed at the seams.
  11. Place large log unto a parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down. ( make sure seam is pinched and sealed.)
  12. Brush top and sides with beaten egg, (you won't use the whole thing) grate some black pepper on top.
  13. Bake for 30 minutes then check, you want a deep golden brown, I did 10 more minutes on my top shelf to make it nice and golden, but you be the judge according to your oven.
  14. Let it rest before cutting into it so that the cheese sets, use a serrated knife and cut small slices, not thick ones.
  15. Serve as a appetizer, lunch with a salad or an addition to any special meal. You could even have some warm marinara for dipping, but I enjoy it just as is.

 

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Springtime Risotto

springtime risotto I know spring is here when I see tender asparagus, early peas and my beloved baby artichokes popping up in the produce aisles. Baby artichokes are so easy to prepare and with a little trimming  you’re able to eat the whole thing, there’s no comparison to the taste and texture of fresh verses frozen, jarred or canned, none at all!

spring time risotto One way I love to showcase them is with risotto, the creamy rice along with the tender veggies are just the perfect combination!

spring risotto ingredients With minimal prep work you can get this on your table in no time and what a treat it is, a one pan wonder in deed. Don’t be intimidated when making risotto it just needs a little nurturing  and constant stirring but you can’t beat the end result!

spring time risotto This meal will make you, your family and your guests very happy!

( You can also follow Proud Italian Cook on Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up during the week )

5.0 from 2 reviews
Springtime Risotto
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 fresh BABY artichokes, trimmed and kept whole
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lb. of fresh asparagus, tender and thin, trimmed and cut into thirds or fourths
  • 1 heaping cup of fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 small leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 1½ cups of arborio rice
  • 1 quart of chicken or vegetable stock, warmed and simmering on the stove
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup of parmesan cheese, finely shredded
  • handful of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon, butter
  • 2 or so tablespoons of olive oil
Instructions
  1. Prep veggies ahead of time, for the Baby Artichokes: Snap off the outer leaves until you reach the tender pale yellow green layers, then with a serrated knife trim the tip and stems. You can steam or boil, they take about 15 minutes, I usually boil placing them whole into the water with some lemon slices and a drizzle of olive oil. When finished, let them cool then place them tip side down and cut in half, you now will have 8 artichoke halves.
  2. For the Asparagus, roast on sheet pan at 400, don't let them get brown, it only takes a couple of minutes.
  3. For the Zucchini Rounds, saute in olive oil, medium high heat on top of stove until golden, just a couple of minutes it takes.
  4. Cook Peas accordingly.
  5. FOR THE RISOTTO:
  6. Have broth simmering on low heat in separate pan.
  7. In a heavy bottom pan heat olive oil and butter on medium heat, when melted add in the leeks, cooking until soft.
  8. Add in rice, stirring for a few minutes until well coated and hot.
  9. Deglaze with wine, let it cook down for a few seconds.
  10. Add in a ladle full of broth, stirring until it all absorbs.
  11. Continue adding in broth, same way, stirring it and letting it all absorb.
  12. You'll know when it's done because rice mixture will become creamy and tender with just a little bite, you don't want your rice to taste mushy.
  13. Pull off the heat, add in the cheese and stir until incorporated, add a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and gently fold in all the veggies.
  14. Garnish with parsley.

 

 

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