Monday, May 31, 2010

CAFE WORLD comes to LIFE! Vegetable Lasagna!

Happy Memorial day everybody! I want to make something special today for my family and somehow, lasagna came to my mind and I thought it's going to be interesting to make one without meat for a change. I am going to use super thinly sliced  zuchinni, mushroom, fresh tomatoes and chopped olives for the filling. It's going to be delicious!

Here's how I made it today. (about 6 servings)

Lasagna noodle (6-8 dried strips)
White mushrooms (about 8-10)
1 large or 2 small zucchini
1 Medium tomato
Marinara sauce (1 jar)
Black olives (3-4 teaspoons)
Ricotta mixture:
Ricotta cheese (can substitute with cottage cheese, about 16oz)
Parmesan cheese (shredded, 2 tablespoons)
Mozzarella cheese (shreddred, 2 tablespoons) 
Dried herbs (oregano, basil, and parsley, just a teaspoon of each)
1 clove of garlic (minced)
1 egg
Salt and pepper (just a few pinches)
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2: Prepare lasagna noodles. Fill water to 3/4 full in a large pot, let it come to a boil and add lasagna noodles. Cook for about 10-15 minutes to el dente. Drain and let it chill in a large strainer.

Step 3: Prepare the vegetables. Wash and dry all vegetables. Thinly slice the zucchini, mushrooms, and tomatoes (be careful with your FINGERS!!). Chop up the whole olives roughly into big chunks (or small chunks - depending on your preference). Be more flavorful! (optional) Grill zucchini and mushrooms for a few minutes. Let cool in a bowl and we are ready to assemble the lasagna.

Step 4: Assemble the lasagna! In a medium carssarole dish, generously scoop and spread tomato pasta sauce in the bottom. Layer the lasagna noodles, then add tomato pasta sauce next and follow by zuchinni, mushroom, tomato slices and olives. Add a generous layer of the ricotta mixture. Repeat and do anther layer of lasagna noodles and the rest of the ingredients. Top with the rest of the ricotta mix and spinkle some Parmesan and mozzarella cheese and a little dried basil for garnish.
Step 5: Bake in oven with foil to cover for 30 minutes. Take out foil and bake for another 5 minutes.

Step 6: Take it out and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Enjoy!!!

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