This recipes was shared by an Italian WWOOFer a part of Kelsey's fieldwork in Coastal Otago. The recipe was selected to highlight Italian cooking traditions from the WWOOFer's home region of Lazio, their use of tomatoes and eggplants, and vegetarian recipes that were not pasta. This was particularly important to the WWOOFer as she and her husband had transitioned to a vegetarian diet owing to experiences they had while WWOOFing.
4 – 6 eggplants
3 cans diced tomatoes
1 – 2 carrots
1 white onion
1 – 2 celery stalks
4 tbsp olive oil
Slice eggplants into thick circles (approx. 7mm thick) and put in the oven to grill, until soft and almost cooked through.
Finely chop carrots, onion and celery into even sized cubes.
Slowly cook on stove, in 4 tbsp of olive oil (adding 1 – 2 tbsp water).
Add tomatoes when veggies are softened, and cook for 30 – 45 minutes.
Allow to cool.
Layer sauce, eggplant, cheese for 2 – 3 layers in a glass lasagna pan. Top final layer with bread crumbs and grated parmiggiano.
Bake 40 minutes at 180°C / 350°F.
You can also add fresh basil to the sauce, as well as garlic and thyme, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.