Thursday, June 30, 2011

What's Cooking: Lasagna

This is one of our favourite meals.  It comes from my Fantabulous slow cooker cookbook ("Ultimate Slow Cooker").  Sadly, I discovered a crack in my wonderful slow cooker that goes through the whole thing, so it's out of commission now.  Tonight I'm doing the sauce on the stove. 

This is a double-duty dinner.  It's meant to be used as a pasta sauce one night and then turned into a lasagna another night.  I don't like it as a sauce so I make two lasagnas with it.  As you read the ingredients you'll see it's a vegetarian lasagna, feel free to add meat to it, but I would highly suggest trying it meatless the first time (it really doesn't need the meat).


2 small eggplants, cut into 1" cubes
1 large zucchini, cut into 1" cubes
3 medium peppers (any colour), chopped
8 cloves of garlic (4 tsp)
4x14oz cans of stewed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (I never add)

**this is the pasta sauce recipe.  To make the lasagna, keep reading**

16oz jar of Alfredo sauce
10oz package of chopped broccoli or asparagus
2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or mozza)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 package of frozen spinach (the recipe doesn't call for it, but all lasagna needs spinach)
1 package of oven ready lasagna noodles (I usually use whole grain)
5 cups of pasta sauce

1. In a large bowl, combine Alfredo sauce and frozen asparagus or broccoli; set aside.  In another bowl, combine shredded cheese and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese. 

2. Lay down lasagna noodles.  Cover with pasta sauce.  Add more lasagna noodles, cover with Alfredo sauce (this is the key to the recipe, so don't skip the Alfredo sauce), sprinkle with cheese and add more lasagna noodles.  Continue to build layers until you are out of room (the recipe calls for 2 layers of Alfredo but I can't make it fit so I do the Alfredo sauce in one layer). 

3. Bake covered at 350 for 40 min.  Uncover and bake for 10-15 min, until heated through.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.  Let stand for 10 min before serving.  It says it serves 12... it doesn't.  Maybe 4 with some left overs. 

For those of you who want/need nutritional facts: 270cal, 14g fat (7g saturated fat), 72mg chol, 749mg sodium, 28g carbo, 3g fiber, 13g pro

If you do make 2 lasagna to freeze the second cover with 2 layers of saran wrap and freeze.  To cook, defrost in the fridge, place into cold oven (put the dish in the oven before you turn it on) and add 15 min cooking time. 


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