On occasion you will find yourself in that industrious sort of mood where you feel like you have the urge to cook up something fancy and then watch as people’s eyes light up (or at least watch as they pretend to make them light up so as to not hurt your feelings). Whenever that mood strikes you start wondering: what shall I stun my audience with now? Shall it be a crazy concoction like a herb crusted Halibut that they’ve never tried, or something warm and homely like a baked ziti? As you start thinking about ALL the options, time continues moving: tick-tock, tick-tock. You look at the clock and BOOM! Its 9 PM, way too late to cook anything and you feel upset. In your anguish you cry yourself to sleep, and when you wake up you realize you fell asleep in a really uncomfortable position and your neck hurts. Do you want your neck to hurt? Absolutely not! Well don’t you worry, the Boylan Blog is here. CUE THE TRUMPETS!
Today I shall suggest to you perhaps my very favorite recipe to cook on one of these industrious days. We shall go from the start to the finish of cooking the most beautiful veggie lasagna of your life, and at the end, you will shock your loved ones with your intense cooking skills. First as a testimonial, I shall show you a picture of a completed version. Keep in mind that it is no longer whole. This is because my brothers were so excited they jumped on it like hyenas and devoured the missing piece.
Now then, lets begin the explanation. Here’s what you’ll need.
1 Package of lasagna noodles
1 lb of mushrooms
1 cup of bell peppers (But any peppers of the not spicy variety work)
1/2 a cup of onion
3 cloves of garlic.
A bunch of tomato sauce. (I made my own, but you can just buy some Prego! Probably about 2 jars)
Spices to taste (I used Cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, onion flakes, salt and pepper)
16 ounces of Ricotta (I saw some boxes that are 15 ounces, just get one of those two isn’t necessary)
1.5 cups of shredded mozzarella
Ok, those are the ingredients. Let’s to get the cooking phase.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F, or 190 degrees C.
- Set some water to a boil, and once it boils add the lasagna noodles. Cook them down for about 10 minutes, then turn the heat down and let them sit. While they’re boiling move on to step 3!
- First things first, lets take all the veggies, and fungi I guess (Onion, garlic, mushrooms and peppers), and chop them up. Chop the pepper, garlic, and onion rather finely. It doesn’t have to be super pretty since it’ll all cook down later. Chop the mushrooms into slices (they should be a bit bigger, definitely not as fine). Put all these chopped goodies into a bowl and move onto the next step.
- Mix the ricotta, eggs, and mozzarella. Make it look like some nice play doh. Put that bowl away.
- Heat up a pan and put some vegetable oil in it. I use grape seed oil because I think it’s fairly healthy, but you can do whatever floats your boat. Then add all the Step 3 stuff in it. The veggies will now cook down, but you still need a pretty big pan, keep that in mind! Stir them occasionally, so that they cook semi evenly.
- When the veggies all look a bit cooked, and the onions look caramelized (literally like caramel), add the tomato sauce, mix it in and find at what heat the mixture simmers. After you find it let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
- When all this is done you are ready for the building steps!
- I do this with my hands but feel free to use a spatula or spoon. First put some of the sauce (a small amount) on the bottom of your baking tray. Then layer your lasagna noodles so that you cant see the bottom of the pan. Then add the ricotta mixture over the noodles, and then ricotta over the sauce. Now repeat that. Now that you have two layers, stick that stuff in the oven. If you have some more mozzarella I strongly suggest sprinkling it over the top of the sauce. It looks beautiful!
- After 40 minutes pull it out, and let it sit for 10 more.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!