When your housemate eats five pieces of your lasagna for dinner, that must mean you made a pretty darn good meal (or maybe he was just pretty darn hungry). Either way, lasagna is a sure way to please hungry housemates and taste buds alike.
Lasagna is so hearty and you can make it however you like with all of your favorite ingredients. You can make it totally vegetarian, totally cheesy (I used a triple threat of cheeses in mine!), totally meaty (sausages, ground meat, bacon…), and even totally vegan (making tofu “ricotta” is so fun!).
Start with a layer of sauce, then noodles, then cheese, then veggies, then more sauce, then noodles, then cheese, then veggies, then more sauce, more noodles, more cheese oh my! I don’t even measure how much of everything I put in and I always confuse my layering order. Honestly, though, anyway you layer, it will come out awesome, guaranteed. I mean, you just can’t go wrong with all of those yummy ingredients.
I made vegetarian lasagna with fresh spinach, yellow summer squash, mushrooms, onions, fresh basil, tomato sauce, and 3 cheeses: Parmesan, mozzarella, and ricotta. I combined my ricotta with some fresh-ground nutmeg, the fresh basil leaves cut into pieces, and 2 eggs to make it really smooth and rich.
This lasagna in particular offers a lovely array of color-green, red, white, yellow…Unfortunately I was too caught up in/too busy eating the crispy browned cheesy topped noodle dish to take a nice photo of the finished product. So go try it for yourself and you will understand why I am such a sucker for those browned cheesy bits.
1-2 yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 jar of prepared tomato sauce + 1 small 8 oz can of plain tomato sauce (or homemade sauce, that would be awesome!)
1 lb of ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
fresh basil, cut into thin strips or ribbons
1 package of oven-ready lasagna noodles (or regular lasagna noodles, par-boiled)
salt and pepper
more fresh basil
grated mozzarella cheese
grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a saucepan, saute the yellow summer squash in olive oil until just cooked. Add salt and pepper. Put into a bowl and set aside.
2. Drizzle some more olive oil in the now empty pan and saute the onions until cooked and translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for a few minutes.
3. Make your ricotta mixture. Add the nutmeg, fresh basil ribbons, salt, pepper, and 2 eggs to the ricotta and stir until blended.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a pyrex (13 in), layer a thin amount of your tomato sauce with mushrooms. Then place a few noodles in a single layer over the sauce. Spread on 1/2 of the ricotta mixture. Throw on some grated mozzarella. Add the yellow squash, salt, pepper, and fresh basil. More tomato sauce. Noodles. Ricotta mixture then mozzarella. Fresh spinach. More sauce. More mozzarella and Parmesan for the top so you get a nice crispy brown top.
(or just layer it however you like)
5. Bake, covered with foil, for about 35-40 minutes. Take off the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it stand for about 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.