How many declarations of my love of a specific food can I make before it is officially declared as sad? Oh, I get a couple more? Okay then, I LOVE LASAGNA!!!
I am fond of any pasta with cheese on it. (And then they solved the mystery of Lydia's giant rear end.)
Last week I wanted to make vegeterian lasagna. Once a week we go meatless for dinner. No fish. No meat. Nothing. I figure if I put enough cheese on it my carnivore husband won't notice. ;)
So I was busy preparing my veggie loaded lasagna when I realized I didn't have any lasagna noodles. But I had seen a recipe for lasagna casserole so I decided to just make that. Only later when moving some things around in my cabinet I found an unopened box of lasagna noodles! For real! I need some sort of pantry inventory system. Suggestions?
At any rate. The casserole turned out fantastic and I had enough to make two pans, one for now and one to freeze.
So here it is folks. YOU will be amazed. (Well, maybe not.)
I made this with several left over ingredients, including some cucumber I blended into the sauce to make it thicker (I have left this part out of the recipe. It is super optional). I also had some leftover kale from making a kale, apple and quinoa salad so I threw that in their too.
What you'll need: (Note, this makes two pans)
16 ounce box of rotini (or ziti)
1 jar of pasta sauce
2 tomatoes that you pealed or a 12 oz. can of tomatoes
container frozen spinach
4 carrots, grated
2 cups Kale
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 container part skim ricotta cheese (some people use cottage cheese. It turns out really good actually.)
2 cups grated mozzarella
dried basil or oregano
Preheat your oven to 350.
Cook your pasta pretty al dente. I would say cook it for only about 6 minutes, then drain but don't rinse.
In a greased skillet cook your onions and mushrooms over a low heat. Sprinkle with some basil.
Get a sauce pan warmed up and put your sauce, tomatoes and carrots in there. Let simmer for about 10 minutes to cook the carrots slightly. You don't want them mushy, but you probably don't want them overly crunchy either.
Once your onions and mushrooms have cooked down a little bit, put the spinach and kale into the same skillet and cover.
In a bowl combine your ricotta cheese, egg and one cup mozzarella. Stir together.
Grease your casserole dish and place a smidgen of sauce in the bottom. Then place some noodles in the pan, cover with the spinach/mushroom/onion/kale mix from your skillet. Add a your ricotta cheese mixture and then stir together. Cover in sauce and cheese and bake for 20 minutes.
If you are making a pan for the freezer, skip the baking part. To bake your frozen pan later, let thaw overnight in the fridge and then bake at 350 for 45 minutes.