Friday, February 11, 2011

*What's for Dinner?* Roasted Vegetable Lasagna



What's for Dinner?

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna


           courtesy of marthastewart.com           


$-Cost was about $20 for the main ingredients.  We did have leftover for the following day too.

Ingredients

Serves 6
  • 14 plum tomatoes (about 3 pounds total), halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced inch thick
  • 3 bunches (about 2 1/2 pounds total) spinach, trimmed and washed
  • 1 container (15 ounces) whole-milk ricotta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • 9 to 12 no-boil lasagna noodles (from a 9-ounce package)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into pieces

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss tomatoes with 2 tablespoons oil, oregano, and two-thirds the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Brush another rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Arrange squash in one layer; season with salt and pepper. Roast squash until tender, about 20 minutes, and tomatoes until slightly shriveled, about 40 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. In a blender, puree 20 tomato halves. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add remaining garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Gradually add 2 pounds spinach and toss until wilted, about 4 minutes. Transfer spinach to a strainer and press to release liquid. When cool, chop spinach and season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, cup Parmesan, egg, and nutmeg until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Lightly oil a 9-inch square baking dish. Spread one quarter of the tomato sauce in dish, top with 3 to 4 noodles, breaking to fit as needed. Top with half the ricotta mixture, half the squash, one quarter of the tomato sauce, and 3 to 4 noodles. Top with remaining ricotta mixture, cooked spinach, one quarter of the sauce, and 3 to 4 noodles. Top with remaining sauce, 1/2 pound mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  4. Set rack in middle of oven. Bake lasagna on a rimmed baking sheet until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let lasagna cool 15 minutes before serving.
From Everyday Food, December 2009


 It must be the loads of cheese and noodles that make this such a classic comfort food.  Plain and simple, lasagna is so good!  This recipe was great because the ratio of cheese/noodles/vegetables was perfect!  Lasagna is often considered a classic Italian casserole.  It even has roots that stretch all the way to the ancient Greeks. 

People get very serious about their lasagna.  Some prefer it with a rich meaty sauce, others with more ricotta, and some with extra mozzarella.  Since our family is vegetarian, we are on a constant search  for the perfect vegetable lasagna.  I think we are getting closer! 
 
Lasagna is notorious for turning a so-so day around here into an all-smiles evening.  I particularly enjoy the crusty, nutmeg-brown crust that forms on top of a good lasagna.  Upon close inspection, I've noticed that the corners in particular are crunchier and toastier than the middle.   I always call dibs on the corner pieces.  Served with a simple salad, you will have a meal that is sure to satisfy you and your crowd. Enjoy

Photo Gallery

As usual, cooking pasta begins with boiling the water...
I crave spinach at least a few times a month...high in iron and makes me feel like the dude with big muscles when I eat it....except I'm NOT a dude ;)  Tasty!

I grew this turban squash out back.  My, how it has kept all these months!  I think its been like 6 months! Still good as ever.  The recipe calls for butternut but can easily be substituted.

Canned tomatoes again.  Last year I canned 15 jars of tomatoes myself.  I think that lasted me about a couple of weeks.  More canned stuff...can't wait for the tomatoes to arrive.

Don't waste the precious tomato juice!  Bottoms up...especially if you are sick as I am.  Every vitamin matters when trying to recover....plus it tastes great too.  Well, kind of *winks*
Ricotta is a staple in lasagna...Whole Foods carries this brand...good quality.

If time is a factor, I always grab bagged cheese.  You pay more, but convenience is really nice.  Just ask me when I'm making dinner and three children are whirling around...$1-$2 extra is nothing!

Ahhh...Parmigiano Reggiano....right from Italy.  My readers in Malta definitely know what I'm talking about!  Nothing compares to the real deal....you won't ever catch me serving you the impostor.

Nutmeg is often in lasagna.  Personally, I find nutmeg in lasagna quite odd.  Maybe that's because I'm so used to it appearing in pumpkin pie?  Nonetheless, it tastes great in there.  Actually, can't even taste it...or is that because I still have a cold?

These eggs are great.  I can feel confident that paying an extra dollar for quality eggs is the right thing to do.  I was voting for a healthier, happier chicken...and a healthier us too.
Thirty minutes later...the turban squash is done baking.
The squash is cut in half.  If you tilt your jaw to the left and look at the picture, doesn't it look like Mickey Mouse?  There is humor to be found in everything...

Tomatoes on a baking sheet fresh out of the oven.
The layering...It's all about the layering when making your lasagna.

The delicious squash layer.  Turban squash has a nutty flavor.  It really paired well with the other flavors in the dish.

The spinach layer...Popeye would be so proud!

More sauce.

The roasted tomatoes show up.

After cooking...the cheese layer must have been two inches thick!  Yum!

Benissimo! (so good)
Serve with a fresh side salad.

And that one was for you, Suz.  Hope you like it!
~Dinner Was Served~



3 comments:

Carl said...

Now that's Italian! I forget which region of Italy that adds a pinch or two of nutmeg to lasagna, I think it is Naples or the Campania region.

Anyway, the recipe looks good in theory, and the outcome proved it, if I can trust your palate. And, I do trust your discerning palate. Only one missing element...the hot garlic bread...or two...and a nice slightly chilled Barolo.

I really need to do this lasagna right away! Thanks Morgan.

Carl said...

I notice that you used a ginger grater to grate the nutmeg. You had, at one point, as a gift, a nutmeg grinder with that manual mini-coffee grinder handle that stores several nutmegs inside.

But "hey," whatever works. Even a Microplane brand zester can do the job.

The Green Mama said...

Hi dad! Yes, stil have the gifted nutmeg grinder ;)

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