Thursday, August 9, 2012

Roasted Vegetable and Sausage Lasagna

 

Well, the bread was a hit. David came home last night while I was cooking.  I turned around to see him gnawing (gnawing!) at the end of the loaf. We're
real civilized around these here parts. That bread? Was HIS. Which, I'm cool with, because we have a TON of bread.  Unlike lasagna, I could eat zucchini bread until the cows come home.

You see, we like lasagna the way we like pizza. I can do pizza once in a while, but if I have to eat it too many times in a week:
non va bene. It'll be months before I can even think about a slice. But, here's the problem: people rarely make a small lasagna. No, everyone expects that they'll make Texan-sized lasagna, which everyone will eat until their hearts and stomachs are full, and the pan is gone. Then, they'll sit around the fire and talk about the lasagna they wish they were still eating.

This never happens.



What happens is, each person eats a slice. Maybe two slices. There is now one quarter of the pan gone. Then, the lasagna stare-down commences. Who will admit defeat first? The lasagna? Never. The answer is easy; don't make lasagna to feed Takeru Kobayashi. Make several smaller lasagnas, and freeze the extras. This way, you can eat lasagna 1.5 times this week, and still maybe-kinda-sorta want it in a few weeks or a month. You won't be punished by the other 3/4ths for an interminable period. Seems like a no-brainer, but it was a while before I adopted this method (thanks to David). I was convinced I wanted a Texas-sized pan. Turns out David is right about a lot of things. Including bread-eating tactics.

This is a strange way to get you excited about lasagna, isn't it?

Well, maybe this will get you excited.

This lasagna... tastes fresh. It doesn't feel like you've got grease rocks in your stomach when you're finished. I think the secret lies in the fresh marinara sauce and the roasted veggies. Did I mention that roasting makes everything better?  Oh yes. I did.

Did I also mention that you don't have to cook the noodles beforehand? I love that part. How about that you get to use up some (ok, a lot) of your garden veggies (most importantly...the zucchini and tomatoes)? And that your kids will love it? And that it will bring unicorns back into the world? Ok. Alright. I know, I'll stop. But really, it's pretty good for all the veggies that are inside it. And me? I love that there are two more ready to roll when I pull them out of the freezer.





Roasted Vegetable and Sausage Lasagna(could just as easily be made without the Sausage)
Roasted Veggies

1/2 head Cauliflower florets
4-5 carrots
, shredded 
6 cloves of garlic, leave the skins on for roasting
2 c.zucchini, grated
(This is very loose. Roast whatever you like, I'm just roasting what I have)

Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice/grate the veggies. First put the cauliflower and carrots in the pan. Drizzle with some olive oil and season with sea salt and cracked pepper. Turn to coat and place in the oven for for about 10-15 minutes. Add the zucchini to the roasted veggies, toss and return to the oven for an additional 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Once the garlic cloves cool down, carefully peel the skin off and slice. Do not add to the other veggies, but set aside in a bowl. 

Ricotta mixture:
1 16 oz container ricotta cheese
4 tbsp
grated mozzarella cheese
3 tbsp
grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
6-12 leaves fresh basil, shredded
6-12 leaves sage, shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste 

Combine all the ingredients and mix lovingly together. 

Fresh Garden Marinara:
8-10 Roma garden tomatoes
2 links Italian sausage, casings removed

Pulse whole tomatoes in food processor until lightly chunky/pureed. Put tomato mixture in heavy-bottomed pot and simmer for 2-3 hours, uncovered until a good portion of the liquid evaporates. You still want some juice, since we're not cooking the regular lasagna noodles, and want to make sure there is enough liquid to soften the noodles. At the end, stir in some salt/pepper to taste and roasted garlic. While the sauce is thickening, break up Italian sausage into bite-size pieces, and brown in skillet. When sausage is browned and the sauce is thickened, stir the two together.
shredded mozzarella cheese
Dry Lasagna noodles

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease whatever pans you are using (we generally can't eat more than two days of lasagna, so I make at least three at once, cook the lasagna, and freeze all but one). Spread some marinara sauce over the bottom of the dishes. Place a few dry lasagna noodles down to completely cover the bottom of pan. Put more marinara on top.
Sprinkle 1/3 to 1/2 the roasted veggie mixture over the noodles. Drop dots of ricotta mixture over the veggies (about 1/3 to 1/2 of mixture amongst your several pans). Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over. Repeat until all noodles/marinara/ricotta mixtures are gone. Cover each tightly with aluminum foil. Bake covered for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until noodles are soft; remove the cover and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

Happy Tummy!
-KM
kristen mrdjanov


16 comments:

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