Some people don’t like recipes. They prefer to go with the flow, add a little of this, a little of that, and see what they come up with. There isn’t a cookbook taking up room on the counter, there are no spoons for measuring, and no math required.
I am not one of those people. I like a recipe, for a few reasons. First, I don’t like wasting food. I don’t want to make something for dinner, and have to throw it away. Second, I don’t like wasting time. I prefer to get it right the first time, have dinner on the table, and have everyone be happy. Plus, I like a little math in my life now and again.
Yet, today I found myself at the Big M, wondering what we would have for dinner. I didn’t have a recipe in mind, so it became one of those nights; one where when we would have something foolproof. Something that, even if it wasn’t awesome, would still taste okay no matter what.
Tacos? Didn’t feel like buying a whole head of lettuce, because it always ends up going bad before I get to use the rest of it.
Pizza? While homemade pizza is one of my husband’s favorites, we order it enough, so I kept looking.
I was wandering the aisles (not spending as much as you normally do wandering the aisles, because this local grocery chain is pretty pricey), and the ricotta popped out at me.
Pasta, cheese, sauce, veggies, repeat. Pretty hard to screw up. Plus I didn’t have to buy more than the ricotta because I already had lasagna sheets, sauce, and veggies at home.
Why bother sharing a lasagna recipe if they’re so foolproof? Because this one was extra good! I like to chop the veggies up really small, because it makes the finished product nice and easy to slice through.
1 package no-boil lasagna sheets
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 10oz package frozen spinach, defrosted
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 artichokes, canned in water, finely chopped
16 oz part skim ricotta cheese
splash of milk (I used soy, but anything will work)
8 oz shredded Italian blend cheese (or mozzarella)
24 oz jar tomato sauce
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt, divided
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, get out 9×13 pan.
2. Put pan on medium-high heat and add oil. Saute onion, garlic, red pepper, and artichoke until soft. Add spinach, red pepper flakes, nutmeg and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir until everything is well incorporated, and remove from heat.
3. Mix the ricotta with the dried basil, salt, and enough milk (about 1/4 cup) to give it a spreadable consistency.
4. Start layering: Pour in enough sauce to just cover the bottom of the baking dish.
-My lasagna noodles came in a package of 15, so I put 3 on the bottom layer,
and 4 for the remaining layers.
-Spread 1/3 of the ricotta onto the lasagna sheets.
-Top with 1/3 of the veggies.
-Cover with 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
-Spoon on about 1/2 cup sauce, spread lightly to cover cheese
5. Repeat twice. You should have a layer of lasagna sheets on top. Add the rest of the sauce, topped with the rest of the cheese.
6. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 40 minutes, taking the foil off in the last 5-10 minutes. 7. If you can wait, let it sit for 10-15 minutes before digging in!
I didn’t grow up with veggies in my lasagna, but there is a lot to love about it! It is versatile, pretty much any veggies you have sitting in the fridge (or freezer) can work; anything from mushrooms to pumpkin. We had some artichoke occupying the top shelf that was left over from the veggie burgers I made for Simon’s birthday. This particular rendition has just the perfect ratio of veggies to cheese. My husband just ate half the pan. That is not an exaggeration.
The downside of having lasagna on the fly, on a weeknight, is that it takes awhile to cook. So Simon was already asleep by the time we had dinner. I’m sure he will love having some for lunch tomorrow though!
Updated 02/10 to add:
Simon loves it!
In fact, he wants to share it with you!
Nothing makes me happier than good leftovers for lunch. Hope you’re having a great day!