|What happens when you take a 19 year old son who loves to cook and is a vegetarian and mix that with a momma (who is a card-carrying carnivore) who is working 14-16 hour days for 9 weeks straight but has a brand new Le Creuset French oven that is just begging to be used and needs to have a recipe tried out in so she can write a blog post about it?
|Well, this is what I did:|
I wait until my visa doesn’t arrive in time for me to take a trip to China with my husband thus I finally have a few days at home for a staycation, it rains the entire time I am home, and I enlist the help of that son and proclaim, “Create a vegetarian dish that doesn’t make me think ‘I’m eating a vegetarian dish.'”
So Buck creates a recipe that he wanted to call “Rat Lasagna” but I convinced him that would only be appetizing to an oddball few so he went with the more descriptive and appropriately named
1-2 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
3 yellow crooked-neck squash
1 Vidalia onion (chopped)
2 jars of Bertolli Organic Tomato and Basil sauce
24 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
15 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 12 oz. Ricotta Cheese
1 pkg. no cook Lasagna noodles
3 cloves garlic
10 fresh Basil leaves
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp McCormick’s Herbs de Providence
1 tsp sea salt (add salt to taste)
1 tsp pepper (add pepper to taste)
10 stalks of fresh asparagus
Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
Thinly slice the first five ingredients (easy to do with the Cutco knife seen in this picture)
Mince garlic cloves and finely chop fresh basil. In a separate bowl mix jars of tomato sauce with basil, garlic, and remaining spices.
Begin layering ingredients in Le Creuset starting with one-third of the tomato-herb mixture, then one-third of the pasta.
Add one-third of the sliced vegetables (the chopped onions go on the second layer)
Spread one-third of the Ricotta cheese over the vegetables, then sprinkle one-third mozzarella cheese and one-third of the parmesan over the Ricotta cheese. (you could mix these cheeses together beforehand but my son enjoys the creative process…).
Begin the second layer adding one-third of the tomato sauce, noodles, sliced veggies – this is where you also added the chopped onions- and the cheeses.
Repeat with the final layers. (My son also sprinkled a few of the spices on the top).
Cook uncovered for 40 minutes at 375 F. Lay asparagus across the top and cover for the remaining 15 minutes.
|This is what you have left to clean up.|
|Hot out of the oven.|
|The taste test by the cook|
|he knows its a winner!|
|Not too sure about this vegetarian dish…|
Thank-you, Le Creuset for a fabulous cooking utensil that cooks so evenly and is soooo easy to clean. And thank-you Buck Wise for taking me a giant step in craving good vegetarian dishes!