Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

December 10, 2013

Lee Ward: Eggplant Lasagna a gluten-free twist; spaghetti's different sauces: 12/10/13

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — Some of my friends like it when I make eggplant. I like it best grilled with a good tomato sauce to dip it in.

Here’s a trendier version from Scripps Howard News Service that makes use of pesto.


1 pound eggplant

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

1⁄4 cup prepared basil pesto or fresh (recipe below)

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

1 medium red sweet pepper, cut into slices

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch slices. Brush slices with olive oil. Place in skillet and heat over medium heat until soft. Remove from skillet and place in oiled 9-inch-square baking dish. Spread on pesto sauce. Cover with mozzarella cheese slices. Add red pepper slices. Repeat layering with eggplant slices, pesto sauce and red pepper slices. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese. Bake in oven 20 to 25 minutes until cheese is melted.

Serves 4.


1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1⁄4 cup olive oil

1⁄4 cup Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth. May be refrigerated or frozen.


Spaghetti often is a go-to meal when time is short.

Instead of opening a jar, next time try this easy recipe that’s also quick.




1 pound spaghetti

1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 to 1⁄2 tablespoons crushed red pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley, optional

Salt, to taste

Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water. Just minutes before the pasta is ready, saute the garlic with the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to turn light brown. Add the red pepper flakes. When the pasta is al dente (a little firm), drain it and reserve about 1⁄4 cup of the cooking water. Toss the pasta in a large bowl with the garlic oil and starchy pasta water. Add parsley if desired, and salt to taste.

— Adapted from Italialicious by CNHI News Service


2 medium, fully ripe tomatoes

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

1 tablespoon fresh basil, slivered

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop the tomatoes and combine all ingredients. Serve over pasta while it is still hot.


3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons finely chopped yellow onion

3 tablespoons finely chopped carrot

3 tablespoons finely chopped celery

2-1⁄2 cups canned Italian tomatoes, with their juice

2 teaspoons salt, or more if necessary

1⁄4 teaspoon granulated sugar

1⁄2 cup heavy cream

Put all the ingredients except the heavy cream in a saucepan and cook at the merest simmer for 1 hour, uncovered. Stir from time to time with a wooden spoon.

Puree the contents of this pan in a food mill or food processor (you can prepare the sauce up to this point ahead of time, and refrigerate it for a few days or freeze it). Return to a pan and bring to a simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the heavy cream and stir-cook for 1 minute more. Taste and correct for salt. Use immediately.


The National Pork Board is launching its free eCookbook, “Cooking For Comfort,” an eCookbook that tells personal stories through meaningful comfort food recipes. More than 25 recipes are included in the cookbook, which can be downloaded by visit PorkBeinspired.com.

Here’s an example of the recipes in “Cooking for Comfort.” Suggested accompaniments include roasted vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts or asparagus.


2 pounds ground pork (coarse ground pork is recommended)

2 large eggs

1⁄2 cup skim milk

2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard, (grainy or non-grainy, depending on preference)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

3⁄4 cup bread crumbs

1⁄4 cup Italian parsley , chopped (OR 2 tablespoons dried parsley)

8 strips bacon, (apple-smoked bacon preferred)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking pan with a few layers of aluminum foil and set aside.

In a large bowl, add the eggs, milk, mustard, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper. Whisk until everything is evenly combined. Add the ground pork, breadcrumbs and parsley. Mix until combined.

Transfer the meat to the prepared baking sheet and form it into a 9 by 5-inch loaf. Arrange the bacon across the top of the meatloaf and bake for about 55 to 65 minutes until the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 160 degrees F, on an instant-read thermometer.

Remove from the oven to a cutting board and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


While I don’t claim to be an expert cook, I do like to cook and love to eat. Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, please send email to lward@dailyindependent.com.