Hello and happy Passover! I hope everyone had wonderful Sedarim. We went low-key this year as it’s been a tough couple weeks. Unfortunately, my husband lost his beloved father to cancer the week before Passover. He had been sick for only a handful of months and, as cancer tends to do, it took him quickly. We are still in shock, even a week after his funeral. I flew to Jersey for a quick and emotional 48 hours in order to be with the family as we said our final good-byes. While I lost my grandparents at a relatively older age, this is the closest I’ve come to losing a parent and I’d like to not do it again, thank you very much.
My husband was gone for a total of 2 weeks prior to Passover and while it was tough to go through all of that with the two kids at home, I gotta say, I continue to be overwhelmed by the support of friends and the community we’ve made here in Los Angeles. People sent food and prayers and showed up at 8am on a Sunday morning for the shiva in order to stand by Yonz and I as we ended the shiva week. It’s amazing how truly wonderful people can be when you ask for help (and accept it).
Now, about this recipe. It wasn’t until I went to Teaneck and had my first Passover at my would-be in-law’s house that I had my first matzah lasagna. When I saw my mother-in-law making it I was like, “ummm, matzah soaked in water and then baked with sauce and cheese? Hard pass”. But then I took a bite and I became a believer. Since then, matzah lasagna has been on our Passover table at least once every year. I pair it with some baked salmon and a spring green salad to help off-set the immense cheesy-ness of it and I have to say, it’s a delightful little lunch (if I do say so myself). Pay attention to the directions below. You do need to soak but not for too long as it will turn into mush if it’s soaked for too long. I hope you enjoy!
Roasted Eggplant Matzah Lasagna
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 jar of marinara sauce or 3 cups of homemade sauce
8 standard sheets of matzoh
1 eggplant, roasted (<— click for roasted eggplant recipe)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Fill a baking dish with about an inch of room temp. water and set aside.
In a medium bowl beat the eggs then and add 2 Tablespoons Parmesan, ricotta and 3/4 cup of mozzarella. Next, add the spices and combine well.
Spread ½ cup of sauce on the bottom of an 8 x 8-inch baking dish,
Soak 1 sheet of matzah in the water for about 30 seconds in order to soften (note: You might need to soak 2 matzah slices or 1 1/2 as matzah never seems to be fully the right size for a lasagna baking dish. Just make sure your matzah covers the majority of the length and width of the baking dish). It’s important that you not let it soak for longer than 30 seconds, you don’t want it to fall apart or become mush. Place the soaked sheet of matzah in the baking dish.
Spread ½ of the ricotta mixture on top of the matzoh. Spread ¼ cup sauce on top of the ricotta and then at least 4 slices of roasted eggplant. And sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
Soak the second sheet of matzah for 30 seconds and place in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining ricotta, ¼ cup sauce, and 1/4 cup mozzarella.
Soak the last piece of matzah for 30 seconds and place in the baking dish. Spread with ¼ cup sauce (or more) and top with a few slices of roasted eggplant. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and a tablespoon of grated Parmesan.
Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese is golden and lasagna is bubbling, about 10 more minutes. If sides are bubbling, but you want the cheese more golden quickly, stick it under the broiler for 10-30 seconds.