Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Veggie Lasagne

Warmer weather means that I have fewer hankerings for large pieces of meat and long-braised stews. But I'll always love cheese.

You need:

1 tin tomatoes, diced or crushed (depending on how chunky you want your sauce)
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 c red wine (optional)
1/2 c stock of some sort... i used chicken
1 tbs olive oil
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 or two carrots, grated
1/2 a red or yellow pepper, thinly sliced into 2" pieces
1 smallish zucchini/courgette, thinly sliced
2 handfuls spinach or 1/2 pack frozen spinach, diced
2 handfuls fresh arugula (optional)
some lasagna noodles (i used oven-ready ones; if you aren't you'll have to boil them first)
250 ml cottage cheese (it is tradition in my family to use cottage cheese. please don't kill me!)
250 g grated mozzarella
4 tbs parmesan cheese

1. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat.

2. Add the tomatoes, carrot, spinach, stock, and wine, if using. if you're not using the wine, add a bit more stock. I like to add grated carrot to the sauce because the sweetness of the carrot takes the edge off the acidity of the tomatoes, and you don't have to resort to sugar, as some do. The sauce will be delicious on its own, and if you chicken out at this point, you can always eat it over other pasta. It's a good default sauce.

3. Simmer until reduced a bit; I used this time to chop my other veggies.

4. In a casserole dish, layer sauce, then noodles, then cheese (some cottage, some mozza), then zucchini; then sauce, then noodles, then cheese, then peppers and arugula, if using; then sauce, then noodles, then sauce, then the rest of the mozza and all the parmesan.

5. Cover with a lid or tinfoil and bake in a 375ºF oven for 30-40 minutes; then uncover and bake another 15 minutes, until the cheese is toasty on top.

There is no "served" photo because I actually think it's impossible to make a lasagne stand up properly as they do on the box of noodles. :) But it was delicious and you'd never know there was no meat. :)

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1 comment:

  1. This was AMAZING, I followed the recipe with a few slight tweaks, I'd left out spinach and added eggplant and cilantro, and sweet chili flakes to the tomato sauce. Thankyou so much.. I find your blog inspirational, and beutifully photographed. I'm a veggie who cooks for a meat-eater and there are recipes for us both :)
    I've also had a go at your muttar paneer and dhal, ...<3