Friday, March 1, 2013

Veggie Lasagna

Last night, I made lasagna! :D It was my first time cooking it, but for some reason I was excited. I was never really a fan of lasagna because the first time I had it, it was awful. I guess that's the cool thing about cooking everything yourself. If you're confident about your knowledge of spices, you can make anything bad taste good. The lasagna that I made last night turned out better than I expected it to be and that's why I've decided to share it today :)


A packet of lasagna noodles (I think you will only need 10 ounces because I bought the 16 oz packet and I still have some left)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic chopped
1/4 of an eggplant chopped
1 yellow squash (or zucchini) chopped
4-5 white baby mushrooms chopped
1 bell pepper (pick a color you like) chopped
1/4 cup of fresh parsley chopped
1 can of peeled, whole tomatoes (28 oz)
1 box of ricotta cheese (30 oz)
2 whole eggs
1 pound thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil (fresh is even better)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Extra Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Start by chopping the vegetables. You can choose as many vegetables as you like. It's not necessary to follow a particular list of veggies.

Chop the eggplant. This much is enough. You don't need the whole thing. 
Cut the squash lengthwise and then chop away.
In the same way, cut the bell peppers and the mushrooms. You can choose to use a red bell pepper to make it more colorful.
Now chop the garlic and the onions.
Chop some fresh parsley as well.
2. In a deep pan, heat some olive oil. Once the oil is hot, put in the chopped onions and garlic. Cook for a minute.

3. Now add the bell peppers, eggplant and squash. Cook for another minute.

4. Finally add the mushrooms.

5. Now open the can of whole tomatoes. 

6. Grab a tomato one by one, crush with your hands and put into the pan. Pour all the juice from the can as well.

7. Now add the spices (oregano, basil, chili flakes, salt and pepper). Do a taste check to make sure it works for you.

8. Add the chopped parsley to the sauce and mix.

9. While the sauce cooks, cook the pasta. Let the water come to a boil before adding the pasta. You'll have to cook 4-5 sheets at a time because they stick. Add some salt to the water.

10. Cook the pasta until al dente and then lay them separately on aluminum foil to dry.

11. In another bowl, put ricotta cheese, two eggs, salt and pepper and mix.

12. Add shredded Parmesan cheese and mix well. Also pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

13. By now, the sauce should be cooked. Make sure the tomato sauce has been reduced because you don't want your lasagna to be too soupy.

14. Now take a 9x13 baking pan and start by added a thin layer of the sauce.

15. Cover the layer of sauce with four pasta sheets.

16. Now add a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture.

17. Now add a layer of the mozzarella cheese slices.

18. Start with the sauce layer again and continue layering like before. I would think four layers of pasta are good enough. 

19. The last layer should be sauce again. And over the sauce, sprinkle a generous layer of Parmesan cheese.

20. Finally, cover the pan with a sheet of aluminum foil and put it in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and let it cook for another 5-10 minutes or until it's nice, hot and bubbly.

21. And you're done! Let the lasagna sit for 15 minutes before digging into it. After 15 minutes, cut it up into squares and serve with French bread. 

A flavor idea from my husband: Put chili flakes in olive oil and drizzle the oil onto the French bread before eating it. 

It works! The flavor works wonderfully!

Try it and I'm sure you'll love it! :D

Lots of love!

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