Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Food Posing a Veggie Lasagna and Other Mediocrity

     So it is a little late in the vegetarian scheme of things to have not learned how to make vegetarian lasagna. However, having realized that I have eaten this during date night no less than 3 times during Lent at a local restaurant led me to re-evaluate my priorities. So tonight, between cleanings and sanitizings, I prepared veggie lasagna.
    I *ahem* loosely followed this recipe.  As I am sure you are well aware, it did not go according to plan. For one thing I shopped before reading the ingredient list, so there was no carrots. I used yellow squash instead. I also bought a zucchini, which turned out to really be a cucumber, sadly. Got the spinach right at least. I substituted their sauce with my favorite jar sauce to save some time. I also tossed in some red onion. In my opinion, red onions (which are purple by the way) are sweeter and more mild than other varieties. Great for "onion haters."
   So basically I chopped the squash, onion and zucchini impostors and sauteed them in some olive oil. I threw in a few large spoonfuls of minced garlic for good measure. Some spices from the rack mysteriously labeled "Italian Seasonings" came to the party. Then I wilted some spinach into the mix.
   I mixed the egg with some ricotta, though not as much ricotta as they called for. Why do you have to do that anyway? Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed there is egg in lasagna. It's not like you are trying to leaven it.
   Then, I went to layer it in the pan to discover that my 9x13 pan is MIA. I had to use a tall, fat Corningware dish instead. Oh well. So, this recipe calls for uncooked shells. Unusual again, but I rolled with it. Instead of the Monterrey Jack cheese it called for (in italian!?), I used mozzarella and Parmesan and layered sort of how they listed it it, but a little more willy-nilly.
  Then comes the oddest part of all: You add 1/2 a cup of water around the rim and cover tightly with foil. I assume this is to steam the noodles. I used whole grain noodles by the way. Cook for an hour at 350* and this is what you get:

I know it looks like most of it squished out the side, but it held its shape pretty well in the cutting-to-plate logistics. A lot of the water seemed to rise to the top in the cooking process. If I had used the right pan, I am sure it would have worked semi-beautifully. It did not taste watery though. It was really good and a lot cheaper than the snooty Italian joint downtown. At least the garlic bread I made out there to the side looks pretty.


  1. This is worth a try. I will let you know how it turns out! :)


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