Saturday, December 24, 2011

Non Vegetarian Lasagna

I'm a big lasagna fan. The cheese, the sauce, the sausage, all layered between the sheets of pasta makes a great comfort dish.

When I was a kid and would get a stomach virus the last thing I wanted was food. But as I was recovering Mom would ask what sounds good to me. Lasagna was always my food of choice. Not a typical stomach perhaps? The point being it is feel good food.

It is also a great dish to please your vegetarian friends. There are certain vegetables I'll put in it and those I won't. Cabbage, broccoli, radishes, or any strong flavored veggies I avoid. A great trick is adding grated carrots to the sauce. When it cooks down you hardly notice it. Being mostly carnivore I sneak meat into my vegetarian lasagna. Well I wouldn't do it to a vegetarian but I do think the flavor is so much better when you add sausage.

This is how I did my last one. I was in a hurry so I skipped the grated carrots in the sauce trick. In a skillet I sauteed mushrooms, chopped onion, a couple of sweet red and yellow peppers in oil and red wine. I also had some tomato paste in the freezer I wanted to use up. I was wishing for a stick of celery but didn't have it. I added Italian spices and let that cook down and I then added spinach. I used fresh but frozen or even canned could have just as easily been used.
At this point I was still motivated to empty some dibs and dabs which were leftover in the freezer. I had some cooked and crumbled Italian sausage and a baggie of cooked chopped chicken which I added.

Mean while I mixed mozzarella, cottage cheese, Parmesan, Italian spices, and an egg. Now my cheese mixture was prepared.

I was short on lasagna noodles so I had to add lib at this point with some other pasta. I usually don't pre-cook the pasta it's easier, you retain some B vitamins, and they absorb the liquid flavor.
Now the layering process. Not a right or wrong way, just do it.
Notice I also layered tomatoes, and zucchinis. I was intending to grate the zucchinis but got lazy and thought it might look cool.
I topped mine in an ending layer of the two mixtures mixed together with additional cheese. I poured more red wine over it so the pasta could drink it up. Baked it at 325 for 45 minutes to an hour and it was ready!

Ah lasagna, got to love it.

1 comment:

  1. We plan to eat some of that yummy frozen vegetarian lasagna tomorrow.