This version of my Eggplant Lasagna contains the cheese and eggs that you would find in a more traditional cheese lasagna. Like the vegan version, it features seasonal vegetables such as eggplant, tomatoes, and fresh basil.
Wash and peel the eggplant. You can peel it in strips, leaving half of the skin on, or peel it completely. Cut the eggplant into 1" cubes. Toss the cubes in the olive oil and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Place the cubes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, then stir them up and bake for another 10 minutes. While the eggplant is roasting, you can chop your garlic and tomatoes and heat up a large pot of water to boil the lasagna noodles.
In a skillet on medium heat, add 1 Tbs. olive oil, the minced garlic, red pepper flakes and 1/4 tsp. of salt and stir together. Once the garlic has started to soften (approximately one minute), add the roasted eggplant, the chopped tomatoes, another 1/4 tsp of salt, and chopped basil. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover to simmer while you boil the lasagna noodles and make the tofu and cheese filling. When the lasagna noodles are done cooking and you have your cheese mixture made, use an immersion blender to blend the cooked eggplant and tomatoes into a sauce. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can spoon the veggie mixture into a blender or food processor. Blend until nearly smooth. You may want to leave a few small chunks in for texture.
Place the lasagna noodles in boiling water and cook according to package instructions. This typically takes about 10 minutes. You will need to carefully and gradually push the noodles down into the water as they cook and soften until they are completely submerged. When they are done cooking, drain them in a colander.
In a large mixing bowl, add the block of firm tofu and mash it with a potato masher or fork until it is about the consistency of cottage cheese (there should still be some small chunks in it). Add the cottage cheese or ricotta and the eggs to the mashed tofu. Add 1/8 tsp. each salt and black pepper and stir together until fully incorporated.
Start with a layer of 1/2 of your eggplant sauce on the bottom of a 13x9 or 11x9 baking dish (unless you are cutting the recipe in half, then you will use an 8x8 baking dish). Then place three of the lasagna noodles to cover the bottom of the baking dish. Next you will layer 1/2 of the tofu and cheese mixture, and 1/3 of your cheese shreds, and the other 1/2 of the sauce. Repeat the layers - noodles, tofu/cheese mixture, cheese shreds, and your final layer of noodles. To top it all off, you will spread the pasta sauce (I use a commercial one for this because it is less chunky and more spreadable but you can use more of the eggplant sauce if you want), then the final 1/3 of the cheese shreds. Sprinkle some more of the fresh basil on top if desired.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.