One of our close friends has decided that he would stay away from meat for awhile. It just so happened that he was coming for dinner one Sunday! For anyone else that might have someone like this in their lives, this recipe fit the bill and it tasted great! Who needs meat? It comes together fairly quickly and I was able to prepare it the day before and just refrigerate it until just before he arrived on Sunday. Bring the casserole out of the refrigerator 30 minutes of so before placing in the oven!
16 oz. package lasagna noodles
8 oz. fresh mushrooms (sliced)
1 large zucchini (cut in half (lengthwise) and sliced)
¾ cup green bell pepper (chopped)
¾ cup onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons olive oil
24 oz. jars pasta sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
15 oz. container part-skim ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Prepare the Lasagna according to package directions!
2. Add olive oil to a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Stir in mushrooms, green peppers, zucchini, onion and garlic and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce and dried basil; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.
3. Mix together ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and eggs.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 inch dish. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce into the bottom of the baking dish. Layer lasagna noodles, ricotta mix, and sauce (in that order). Repeat layering, and top with remaining cups mozzarella cheese.
10. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
Checking the pantry and freezer, I found I had all of the ingredients for this sauce, including a very nice medium zucchini for spiralizing. I also had a pound of ground veal which I had not put in the freezer since I bought it two days before. You can use beef or whatever…
Weeknight Bolognese Sauce
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ cup onion, finely diced
½ cup carrots, finely diced
½ cup celery, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground veal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 Tablespoons white wine
¼ cup milk
1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 pinch baking soda
Zucchini noodles or the pasta of your choice
Romano or Parmesan cheese for serving
1. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium high heat.
2. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan and sauté until softened stirring often, about 4-5 minutes.
3. Add garlic and sauté stirring often until fragrant, around 1 minute.
4. Add the ground veal and sauté using wooden spoon to break up the meat as it cooks until the veal is fully browned, around 5 minutes.
5. Add salt, crushed red pepper, dried basil, dried Italian seasoning, wine, milk, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and baking soda and stir until well combined.
6. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.
7. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes stirring periodically.
8. Serve immediately over zucchini noodles or pasta with a sprinkle of Romano or Parmesan cheese.
Since we are back trying to shed some pre-Christmas pounds/kilos, I find we are eating more salads. This one is very similar to a well known Italian restaurant chain in the US! It’s fresh and very tasty, as well as filling.
Italian Romaine Salad 204 caloriesper serving
1 head romaine lettuce or 2 small romaine hearts, roughly chopped