Who doesn’t love Sunday dinners? When I was a kid, my aunt Betty would sometimes call up early Sunday afternoon to invite us all over for dinner and when we arrived there would be many members of the family there, all ready for a big spaghetti dinner. The last time I went she made stuffed red peppers. I loved (still love) the last minute-ness of it all and strive to do it once in a while.
Lately my sister and I have been planning our own Sunday night dinners. A while ago it was ratatouille and barbecue chips, and I have been threatening to make a roast beef for months now. I thought about it tonight, but instead was much happier with the idea of a vegetarian lasagne.
It’s not hard, took up lots of the pots and pans, and was amazingly , soothingly delicious. The whole recipe came from my own head, and I want to share it with you.
I have never been much of a lasagne maker. I used to try and make it with Italian sausage and whole black olives and it was just way too much of a mechanical mixture to make nice smooth layers. Tonight was different though and my layers were well-defined, each bite letting you taste each different one.
Today my layers were as follows:
1. Roasted squash – peeled and sliced thinly into half moons then roasted in a hot oven for 20 minutes or so with olive oil, salt and pepper.
2. Fresh spinach –washed
3. Tomato Sauce – onions cooked in olive oil until brown, add garlic. Add red wine to the hot pan, let alcohol cook out then add a can of tomatoes and some dried basil. Let cook until the consistency thickens. Last minute, add salt and pepper.
4. Mushrooms – sliced and cooked in a bit of olive oil and butter. Let absorb the liquid, cook a bit, release their own liquid and lastly brown a bit.
5. Black olives – chopped
6. Lasange sheets – cooked well in boiling water
7. Ricotta cheese and grated mozzarella
Really all you have to do is assemble it in layers that make you happy. I don’t think it matters much, but I did start with the squash, made sure the spinach was between some nice hot stuff so that it would wilt, and finished off with a layer of pasta and topped with ricotta then mozzarella. I finished it off in a 350F oven so that the top cheese layer would get crispy.
I’m not going to lie, this was really good.
My good friend Red came over and we ate and drank wine and we all had two pieces each. Red and Kristopher thought the mushrooms and olives were the best parts, they figured they added a meaty texture, while I loved the sweetness of the squash. We finished it off with a homemade lemon meringue pie that Red made yesterday and listened to Madeleine Peyroux – an excellent way to prepare for another big week.
I highly recommend you try it.