Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lacey's Mixed up Vegetarian Lasagna Casserole

I don't make many casseroles, but when I do I make them on Sunday night so all I have to do when I get home Monday is pop them in the oven to cook. I don't know what it is about Monday nights but by the time I get home I am dead ass tired and want nothing more than to sit down and not move until it's time to go to bed. I've got a few casseroles up my sleeves that I can make on a dime, but for this week's blog posting I really wanted to try something different. Plus I had a major hankering for lasagna but did not want to go to the trouble of making it.

Casserole = Yummyness in a pan, easy and quick. Lasagna = Delicious, not easy and definitely not quick. Oh and to make a lasagna usually means spending about $25ish in cold hard cash. Luckily this time I had every single ingredient already in the fridge or my garden. Another thing I look for in a casserole is the "one stop meal" effect. I don't want to have to make anything else with it. I want all the food groups covered in that one pot. This recipe fits that bill nicely.

I perused the internet and found a recipe by that blonde mogul everyone loves to hate even though we all use her recipes and products. She calls it Pasta Cake. Since I'm not flipping mine out of a springform pan onto a cake plate for a dinner party, I'm calling mine a casserole. So take that Bitch! Ha!

My recipe is a bit different than the one on the internet, here it is:
Pasta - I used left over fresh scraps from raviolis I made a week ago. I'd say it was about 3 cups worth.
Ricotta cheese - I had fat free, the smaller container
Parmesan cheese - 1 cup grated (I used Grana Padana) -keep 1/4 cup aside for topping the casserole
Eggs - three organic
Fresh Tomatoes - 6-8 chopped up (from my garden)
Eggplant - one..or you can use zucchini (from my garden)
Spinach - chopped. Three cups if you were to stuff it into a measuring cup
Garlic - 6-8 cloves chopped into chunks
Onion - one whole chopped
Evoo as needed for pan
Spices - italian seasoning, salt, pepper
(An even easier version of this recipe would be to substitute out the fresh veggies for canned diced tomatoes, and hamburger, turkey burger or sausage).

I also had some butternut squash left over and chunked it up and added it to the mix - don't. It was too dry after cooking. (I'm just adding this because you might see it in the pics below).

Turn oven on 425, chop up tomatoes, onion, garlic and eggplant. Toss lightly in evoo, spread over a cookie sheet and roast for about 25 minutes.

Boil your pasta in water and about 1 tbsp salt (trust me, it really does make all the flavor difference if you add alot of salt) and 1/4 tsp evoo so the noodles don't stick together.

In a large bowl, mix eggs, ricotta, about 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1 tbsp italian seasoning. Once the veggies are done roasting, add them and the pasta to this bowl and mix everything together. Coat a 9x12 pan (or a large round one like I've got), dump all the ingredients in and spread out flat. Sprinkle the rest of the Parm on top and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown.

Once out of the oven, let the casserole sit for about 5-10 minutes to both cool and set up. Slice it up and let your family dig in. Not only have you saved time, you will probably have left overs for lunch the next day or another dinner later in the week.


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