Tuesday, March 25, 2008

good things come in 3's...

that's the conclusion i've come to based on my last post and the one i'm about to make. yesterday i shared my recipe for three c blondies and tonight i'm going to share with you my recipe for a 3-vegetable roasted lasagna. it's different, i know. i'm sure you're used to just having the traditional meat and cheese stuffed kind, packed with cheese. there's nothing wrong with that kind. if you're lucky, you've found a place or recipe that balances those 3 things perfectly. me, i have not which is why i wanted to try something different.

lasagna isn't something i have often just because it can leave you feeling a little overstuffed and wondering why you indulged on something that wasn't really quite that good. my usual source of lasagna was this pizzeria back on staten island and it was ok but they're calzones are better. on staten island? it's called mama rosario's. get the sausage and pepper calzone. it's good stuff. i've had it from other places too of course but i haven't really ever been that impressed with it to make it the main thing i would order from a menu. i'm obviously making it sound like im not a huge fan of lasagna so why would i bother trying to make it? becasue of this: The Kitchen Sink's Layer by Layer Lasagna. how could i not be inspired? plus vegetables, carbs, and protein all rolled into one bubbly plate of goodness? sounds like my kind of balanced plate.

i bet you can't guess what 3 vegetables i went with? zucchini, squash, and mushrooms! how'd you know? you're smart but we both knew that. this combination isn't definitive though, you can go with whatever vegetables you have on hand or whatever vegetable you've been craving. i went with these 3 just because i had a gallon sized ziploc bag stuffed with mushrooms and the zucchini and squash were affordable and i was suffering from low funds syndrome. i'm sure some out there can relate. now that i've given you a little background, i'll go ahead on to the method...

start with your vegetables: i used 2 small zucchini's and 1 veyr large squash and about a cup of mushrooms, all sliced, drizzled with some olive oil and seasoned with just a simple mix of salt and pepper.no measurements just to your taste & toss to ensure that they're all coated evenly. spread them out onto a foil lined cookie sheet, maybe 2 cookie sheets. roast them at about 400 degrees for 30 minutes? maybe less, maybe more depending on your oven.

next: sauce. i made my basic marinara using a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, 1 whole onion( finely diced), 2 cloves of garlic ( minced), riesling (1/4 cup), dried basil and parsley ( 2 tsp each), crushed red pepper and the essential salt and pepper.

once those 2 parts were done, i made a part ricotta & part cottage cheese ( 1 cup each) mix= with shredded mozzarella and parmesan, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and you're done. i know you're wondering why cottage cheese? it sounds weird but it's good, adds a little more chunkyness and flavor to the filling. okay your components are done and time to assemble.

1st layer : sauce.
2nd layer: lasagna noodles. some say to pre-boil these, some say not to. i say not to.
3rd layer: ricotta and cottage cheese filling.
4th layer: squash, zucchini, mushrooms.
5th layer: sliced fresh mozzarella.

6th layer: go back to the beginning and continue till your casserole dish says basta! no more! really though you want to end with a layer of sauce and mozzarella. pop in the oven, 400 degrees, 40 minutes or until your cheese has reached your desired level of bubbliness. while cooking, maybe throw together a salad or just fix yourself some garlic bread. baguette, oil, clove of garlic. drizzle the bread with a little oil and rub the garlic over the bread and pop it in the oven during the last 5 minutes of cooking. enjoy!

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