February 9, 2010

Saucepan Lasagna

I call this saucepan lasagna (my lack of casserole dishes at the moment) because that is how it's getting served. Biking home today in 25 F degree weather caused hallucinations of comfort food. Try this when your pressed for time and don't feel like waiting around for the baking time. Assemble the ingredients in a large skillet (like a lasagna) and heat. Of course, you can also assemble in a casserole and bake (400 F, covered with foil, for 35-45 minutes).

Serves 4-6
1-1.5 cups uncooked bowtie or farfalle pasta (you can use fettucine or whatever you desire)
Water for boiling
salt to get it going faster
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, quartered
1 lb mushrooms, quartered
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt to taste
Marinara sauce (recipe below, or your own)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup to 1 cup fresh mozzarella (the rubbery wet kind), sliced

Ingredients for Marinara Sauce:
2 T olive oil
3 T carrots, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
few parsley springs
2 T mixed herbs (basil, marjoram, oregano etc), chopped
1 28 oz can pureed tomatoes (low-sodium)
generous pour of red wine (I used this merlot)

  1. Boil water for the pasta, and cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile prep the veggies for the sauce and lasagna. 
  3. Drain pasta and reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water, to use if the pasta sticks. 
  4. In the same pan (or a new one), heat 1 tsp of olive oil over medium-high heat, and add mushrooms. Cook 4-5 minutes or until golden, turn heat to medium.
  5. Add in peppers and zucchini. Continue to cook 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in crushed red pepper and season with salt, set aside.

Directions for Marinara Sauce:
  1. In the same pot (no need to dirty a new one, right?) heat up 2 T of olive oil over medium-high heat, and add in garlic and onions. Cook for about 3 minutes, and turning heat down to medium, add in carrots, and parsley sprigs.
  2. Add in pureed tomatoes, wine, and herbs. Cook covered, over medium-high heat until the marinara thickens (about 20 minutes). Remove parsley sprigs before using, adjust salt if needed.
  3. Next, assemble your lasagna, layering sauce, noodles, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, and veggies.
  4. Heat up, over low-medium heat for about 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs and parmesan. While its cooking you can make a salad =)

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