Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Great Lasagna Search: Recipe 1.0

We've made many veggie lasagnas over the course of our lives, but we've never found one we loved and would make again and again. This has got me to thinking that I should just make my own recipe. I will share with you all the recipes that are palatable and give updates about the ones that should not be attempted as well. Hopefully, you will all enjoy my search for a great lasagna as much as I do. Here is the recipe that I recently made.
 
Rainbow Lasagna

Ingredients
  • 12 Lasagna Noodles
  • 1/2 lb Carrots, Sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • 1 Zucchini, Chopped
  • 1 Yellow Squash, Chopped
  • 8 oz White Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 8 oz Frozen Spinach, Thawed and Drained
  • 1/2 Cup Water (or white wine)
  • 1 Can (28 oz) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped (or 1 Tbsp Dried Parsley)
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 15 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3/4 Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Directions
  • Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.
  • Drain and lay noodles flat on aluminum foil. (If space is tight, you can layer the foil and noodles)
  • Put carrots in a sauce pan and cover with water.
  • Boil for 8 to 10 minutes
  • Drain and set aside
  • Heat a large saute pan over medium heat.
  • Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil and warm for 5 to 10 seconds
  • Add onions and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add green and red peppers and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add zucchini and yellow squash and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, spinach and carrots and cook for 2 additional minutes yet again.
  • Add water, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and stir well.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cover, lower the heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • In a large bowl mix remaining ingredients other than the 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  • Mix veggie mixture with the cheese mixture to make a cheesy veggie sauce.
  • Put about 1/5 of the cheesy veggie sauce in the bottom of a 9" by 13" pan.
  • Place 3 lasagna noodles over this.
  • Continue alternating until you put the last 1/5 of the cheesy veggie sauce on the top.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese over the top and cover with foil.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes more.
  • Let stand for 10 minutes, cut into 12 slices, and serve.
 
Notes on this version:
  • Not cheesy enough. I will probably use a full pound of mozzarella next time.
  • A little runny. I will be replacing the water with tomato paste which is much thicker than water.
  • A bit too much stuff as it overflowed about 1/8 cup onto the oven floor while baking. I am considering taking out one or two of the green veggies as I currently have three.
 
Feel free to share any suggestions you may have. And if you try this recipe or any of those that follow, I beg you to let us know how they turn out and your thoughts on them.
 
-Chef Jason

3 comments:

Rose said...

My favorite lasagna to make at home uses whole wheat pasta, a large can of diced tomatoes with basil / Italian seasonings, 16 oz portabella mushrooms, most of a package of baby spinach sauteed in EVOO with garlic, as much mozzarella as it takes to cover the layers, and two pounds of plain Bob Evans or Tennessee Pride rolled sausage. Is it healthy? Probably not, but I really do enjoy it. The only thing I would mention is that it IS kind of liquidy and I've had it go all over in the oven before. My solution is to put a bit of foil on a pizza / cookie pan on the rack underneath to catch whatever drips. It's not perfect, but it keeps the oven from lighting on fire, which has happened to me more times than I care to admit.

lalaflowers said...

My favorite lasagna is just a collection of stuff that I usually have in the fridge. I find that there is an italian sausage at our BJ's that is amazing... so I use a couple of links of that, fry it up. Peel, chop and add in an eggplant. Fry some onions, and add tomato sauce. I use oven ready noodles, as I'm lazy. I cook & chop spinach, and any other veggies on their last legs on their last legs. Cook them up, with garlic. Add to ricotta (store bought or home made). Mix in an egg and some cheese (what ever I have). Layer up, and cook. I usually put a cookie sheet underneath it, so that I don't have a mess to clean up.

mvo said...

my Mom used to make the recipe on the back of the Prince Lasagna box. It did not use meat but chopped hard boiled eggs. It was delicious. Basically it is a noramla lasagna recipe except the middle layer is chopped hard boiled eggs instead of a meat. the recipe is no longer on the box and when I contacted the company they had since been bought by another corporation and no longer have the recipe.