Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Zucchini and Yellow Squash Lasagna

I actually skipped yoga Tuesday night so that I could come home and make this - not to eat right away, just to use up all the zucchini and yellow squash before the next Pinckney's produce pickup. (How alliterative.) I also had a green bell pepper, ricotta and a couple of boxes of lasagna noodles; otherwise, this might have been a zucchini moussaka.

I just cut into it today (Friday) for lunch and was instantly reminded that my removal of portions from baking pans leaves a little to be desired. (This really was in layers when I baked it.) Oh, well - what can you really tell about food by looking at it, anyway?

1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp dry Italian herbs (oregano, margoram, etc.)
salt and pepper
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick crosswise
4 medium yellow squash, sliced 1/2 inch thick crosswise
1 cup plus 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 16 oz. container of ricotta cheese
2 tsp dry Italian herbs
salt and pepper
5 wheat lasagna noodles

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in the saucepan to be used for the sauce. Add the bell pepper, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper and saute until the pepper has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, stir well and simmer uncovered until sauce has thickened significantly (you may need a splatter guard), about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the sliced zucchini and squash on plates (1 slice high), salt liberally and store in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse and pat dry with paper towels. If water continues to come out, pat them with a dry paper towel as needed.

When the sauce has about 10 minutes of cooking time left, boil enough water in another saucepan to cover the lasagna noodles. Add lasagna noodles and cook until tender, about 10 minutes or according to directions on box.

While lasagna noodles are cooking, combine 1 cup parmesan cheese with ricotta cheese, 2 tsp Italian herbs, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

When sauce is ready, spoon just enough to cover the bottom of a non-stick bread-loaf-sized baking pan and spread evenly. Place two cooked lasagna noodles side by side on top of the sauce, carefully trim and slack and set aside. Add 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mix, 1/3 of the zucchini and squash (filling any gaps with the smaller pieces from the neck of the squash) and 1/3 of the remaining sauce. Repeat the layering two more times. The final layer of pasta should be made up of reserved pieces from the first two layers of lasagna noodles plus one intact lasagna noodle. Once the last of the lasagna noodles and sauce have been added to the baking pan, sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on top.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and juices are bubbling. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Serve or store in refrigerator.

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