Tuesday, December 7, 2010

lasagna (stew?!)



yesterday morning, something very strange happened. i woke up and instantly knew: today's a lasagna day.

this is, as those who know me can confirm, a very unusual and confusing occurrence for someone like myself (namely, someone who spends 10 minutes trying to decide what kind of muffin to order at a bakery or ponders most of the day what exactly her stomach is craving for dinner that night). but the christmas season works in magical ways and so i was blessed, for one oh so brief moment, with the miracle of decisiveness!

i'd guesstimate that this recipe makes enough lasagna for a family of 4. i'm basing that on the fact that the two of us ate it for three nights in a row (with it getting better each passing evening...). the only thing to watch out for is that it doesn't get, well, too stewy. it could have had to do with the fact that we cooked it with mushrooms (the world's most water-emitting vegetable) or that we used slightly too much tomato sauce. either way, things got a bit soupy after 20 minutes in the oven. so i'd recommend learning from our silly mistakes and making sure not to overdue the number of vegetables or the amount of tomato sauce between each pasta sheet. the other key (which i learned from a dear ex-pat ami of mine) is to cook the lasagna pasta in boiling water for 2 minutes before baking, especially if you're using whole wheat pasta. it makes a world of difference.

los ingredientes:

10 sheets of lasagna
1 head of broccoli
1 zucchini
3 carrots
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 red pepper
10 brown mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large can tomato sauce
1 cup grated cheese

begin by sautéing your carrots and mushrooms in a skillet with some olive oil until carrots soften up (about 5-7 minutes). add onion, garlic, zucchini and pepper and cook for another 8-10 minutes on a low heat. meanwhile, fill a large pot with water, bring to a boil, and blanch your broccoli head (already chopped into florets) for 1-2 minutes. once your other veggies are cooked through, mix the broccoli in and set aside.

bring another small pot of water to a boil and cook your lasagna sheets for no more than 2 minutes. remove! its time to start compiling the lasagna. of course, how you do this is a matter of personal preference. whole wheat lasagna sheets are pretty thick/hearty, so we only made three layers. begin by adding your vegetables, then the tomato sauce, and then your pasta sheet. repeat as many times as your pan will allow. top with a bit of tomato sauce and most importantly, cheese!

we baked ours for about a half hour, but just keep an eye on yours :)