Supreme Lasagna


Why supreme?  The sauce for this lasagna is full of sausage, peppers, garlic, tomatoes and onions, so the flavor instantly reminded me of a slice of supreme pizza.  This was also an experiment in lasagna so full of vegetables that you don't really need lasagna noodles - a supremely veggie, post-noodle lasagna.





Zucchini has a nice neutral flavor, and can jump into the noodle role with any special peeling, salting, soaking or pre-cooking.  (I'm glaring at you, eggplant.)  We have thin zucchini "pasta" instead of spaghetti for dinner pretty often.

For this recipe, I just sliced small 6" zucchini thinly with a sharp vegetable peeler.  If you can only find larger specimens, use a mandoline; or, quarter them lengthwise, and trim out the seedy middle before slicing.  Don't work too hard to get the entire zucchini sliced nicely - I chopped the remainders finely and threw them into the lasagna too.


Making lasagna completely from scratch is always a long process, but I feel like it's occasionally worth it because it makes a lot of food.  And it's nice to putter around a warm kitchen in this cooler fall weather.  Lately it's all been warm and rich dishes, like creamy tomato soup, beef bourguingon, and this vehicle-for-cheese lasagna.  My freezer is stocked up with emergency dinners, and I just got a big batch of novels from paperback swap, so today after work I might finally curl up with a cup of coffee inside a big drapey sweater to read a book on our back porch.

So, would you try your hand at post-noodle lasagna?  And what's your favorite lasagna recipe?  I have to admit, I remember the rich bechamel in Smitten Kitchen's mushroom lasagna fondly.


Supreme Lasagna

1 recipe of Supreme Sauce (recipe follows)
1 recipe of Rich Ricotta mixture (recipe follows)
About 3 lbs of zucchini, sliced into thin, lasagna noodle-like strips with a vegetable peeler or mandoline
1 lb sliced mushrooms, sauteed (optional)
1 c. shredded mozzarella

1.  Make the supreme sauce, stir together the rich ricotta mixture, and sautee the mushrooms (optional).  Any or all of these things can be done the day before you want the lasagna.

2.  Preheat the oven to 350.

3.  Lightly oil a 9 x 13 pan.  Layer zucchini slices to cover the bottom of the pan.  Spread with half of the ricotta mixture, and sprinkle with half of the mushrooms.  Top with tomato sauce.  Repeat layers, ending with tomato sauce, zucchini, and more tomato sauce.

4.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle the top of the lasagna with mozzarella, and bake for another 15 minutes.

It's really hot at this point, so let it cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.  Things were a little liquidy in there, but it didn't bubble over and held up surprisingly well to being sliced while still hot.




Supreme Sauce:


1 lb of Italian sausage
2 large onions, diced
1 green pepper, diced
5 cloves of garlic, diced/pressed
2 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes

1.  Cook the Italian sausage in a large pot over medium heat, until the meat is no longer pink.

2.  Turn the heat to medium-low. Add the onions, garlic and peppers, and brown until the onions turn a light golden brown, 10-15 minutes.

3.  Pour in the tomatoes and simmer for 30-45 minutes.  Taste for seasoning.  This made more than enough sauce for a 9x13 pan of lasagna.



Rich Ricotta Mix:
Adapted from the America's Test Kitchen recipe for Simple Cheese Lasagna

2 c. ricotta
1 c. shredded parmesan
1 egg
1/2 c. fresh basil, sliced/torn
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste

1.  Stir together the cheeses, egg and basil until well combined.  Keep refrigerated until needed.  This makes enough for a 9x13 pan.



6 comments:

  1. Om nom nom nom. Everything on your blog makes me hungry. I want to eat it off my screen!!!

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  2. This is a brilliant recipe which actually is great for people who are crossfitters or just want to diet but still enjoy eating lasagna. I always have a thing for lasagna. I love the cheese, the sauce and the overall taste. Thanks for sharing this. I'll definitely make this at home.

    Haley
    Food Handler Certification

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  3. @Emily, pick a favorite and we'll have dinner. :)

    @Haley, glad you like it!

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  4. this is in the oven right now, what a smell wafting already! divine!

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  5. Thanks for trying it! Let me know how it turns out!

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  6. I made this recipe twice, once without meat and once with sausage. Both were fabulous! I think the lasagna tastes even better the third or fourth day when the flavors have permeated the whole dish. Deliciousness. (But I used lasagna noodles because zuchinnis are just too small and too expensive in February!)

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