Monday, September 04, 2006

This One's for Jessie

Rachel Ray makes this in 30 minutes, chopping and all, but if you aren’t Rachel Ray, use a helper for chopping!

Stovetop Vegetable Lasagna

1 lb curly pasta (campanelle or cavatappi by Barilla)
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium zucchini, halve lengthwise, then thinly slice into half moons
12 cremini or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 roasted red pepper, drained, pat dry, quarter lengthwise, then thinly slice
2 Tbsp butter
2 rounded Tbsp flour
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. grated fresh nutmeg, eyeball it
1 1.2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus some to pass at the table
1 cup fresh basil leaves, about 20 leaves

Boil pasta to al dente; reserve a ladle of hot cooking water before you drain pasta.

Microwave spinach, wring out in kitchen towel.

In deep skillet with 2 tbsp. olive oil, cook zucchini and mushrooms for 2-3 minutes
Add onions and garlic to pan. Season all with salt and pepper.

When onions tender in about 5 minutes, add defrosted spinach and roasted red peppers.
Don’t overcook the veggies.
Transfer veggies to a dish, return skillet to stove.

Add remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil and butter.
When butter melts, add flour and cook a minute or so, then whisk in stock and milk.
Thicken the sauce for 2-3 minutes, season with salt pepper and nutmeg.
Slide vegetables back into sauce.

Place ricotta in large shallow bowl and add the ladle of starchy pasta water.
Stir, then add couple handfuls of grated cheese.

Drain pasta and toss with cheeses.

Add 1/2 the vegetables and sauce to pasta and toss.
Tear or shred basil and toss into pasta.
Adjust seasonings. Top bowlfuls of lasagna with remaining veggies in sauce and pass extra grated cheese at table.


Pat said...

Hey Michael, would you make this for me?

Anonymous said...

I actually had the priviledge of sampling this dish. Of course it was exquisite and the atmosphere unsurpassable. The company, however, trumped both the former. Enchanting! JGN