Sunday, March 23, 2008

necessity: the mother of invention

This recipe was submitted to Presto Pasta Nights!

I had a food emergency tonight, and survived. The grocery stores were madhouses yesterday, and I didn't feel like braving the lineups. We had dinner out last night and brunch at my sister's this morning. I'd invited friends over for dinner, knowing full well I had no idea what I was serving.

I took inventory of my fridge and my cupboards. Among other things I found: half a container of ricotta cheese, lots of mozza, 3 sweet potatoes, the remains of a batch of spinach, 3/4 of a box of lasagna noodles, some cream cheese, about half a small container of olive garlic pesto, a zucchini and a yellow pepper. So I did what anyone else in my shoes would do. I made a veggie lasagna.

Our friends, who we have shared many a collaborative Thanksgiving dinner with, supplied a lovely tomato and bocconcini salad dressed with balsamic vinegar along with an olive foccacia. And cheese, and crackers. We supplied the wine and dessert (home made cookies and tea). All in all, wonderful things to go with the lasagna. Or food we could rely on to sustain us if the lasagna didn't work out.

In the end, I didn't have to worry. The lasagna was a complete success, eaten up by everyone including my little ones.

So here's the recipe for the lasagna, with a very boring title. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

Garlic, Sweet Potato and Spinach Lasagna

Serves 4 average portions in an 8x8 baking dish

1 large zucchini
3 sweet potatoes
small bunch of spinach
1/2 yellow pepper
1 box lasagna noodles
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated fine
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup olive garlic pesto

My Preparation

I peeled and boiled the sweet potatoes until they were soft enough to pierce easily with a fork. Slice them into 5 mm slices (fairly thin), They were soft enough that I could mash the slices between my fingers.

I sliced the zucchini widthwise into thin slices. I could just as easily have sliced lengthwise.

I mixed the ricotta and the pesto together in a bowl, and washed the spinach and cut the stems off, leaving only the leaves.

Then I started layering:
Layer 1: zucchini
Layer 2: lasagna noodles
Layer 3: grated mozza cheese
Layer 4: spinach
Layer 5: ricotta/pesto mix
Layer 6: sweet potato slices
Layer 7: lasagna noodles
Layer 8: zucchini
Layer 9: grated mozza cheese

yellow pepper to garnish

I cooked it for 45 minutes at 375 F, covered in foil. At the 45 minute mark, I removed the foil and cooked it for another 10-15 minutes.


Ruth Daniels said...

Sounds wonderful and I'm so glad you decided to share it with Presto Pasta Nights.

Little Corner of Mine said...

That's a great way to use the pesto. Very inventive and I'm sure it's delicious! Thanks for the link.