I got this recipe from my friend, who I believe got it from Weight Watchers'. She made some changes, and I did as well. My DH is not crazy about Eggplant, but will eat it. He really liked this dish.
2 large eggplant
1 pound ground beef
10 ounces frozen spinach (I used 1 pound)
1 can plum tomatoes, 15 ounces (I used diced tomatoes by S & W)
6 ounces tomato paste
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 or 2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil ***
16 ounces low-fat ricotta cheese
parmesan cheese, grated
Slice eggplant in 1/4" slices.
Salt slices and allow to sit for a few minutes, pat off excess moisture, then bake at 350º F for 30 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, thaw spinach completely (I do it in the microwave) and
squeeze until dry and set aside.
Brown ground beef, drain, pat off excess grease and set aside.
Make ragu (sauce), using tomatoes, paste, tomato
sauce, onion, garlic and basil.
Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes or so and then set aside.
Place a layer of eggplant slices in baking dish, put layer of ricotta cheese on top (should be 1/2 of the 16 ounces), then a layer of the spinach, then beef and spoon some of the ragu on top.
Repeat with a second
layer of everything and end with a 3rd layer of eggplant with just the
sauce spooned over the top.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over all.
Bake for an hour at 350º F.
When I made it for my relatives in Washington State, I didn't have *** fresh basil, so I just sprinkled in a tablespoon or so of dried and a tiny bit of oregano (less than 1/4 teaspoon) for flavoring of the sauce. You can make this recipe even easier by using a store-bought jar of sauce such as Prego or Classico. You can change the meat - you can use Italian sausage squeezed out of the casing instead of the beef (when in WA, I used BUFFALO meat!) You can also add some sliced mushrooms if you want. Also, you can really increase the amount of any ingredient if you like - like more spinach or more meat.
It will taste pretty much the same, you will just have more casserole!