Yup, that's the reputation I have among my friends when it comes to the culinary arts.
But yes, I was going to make that, and guess what -- I did! And it turned out pretty darn good if I do say so myself.
I started with this recipe from Food.com. I knew I wanted to make a vegetarian lasagna (I'm not a vegetarian, but I wanted something light), and I also wanted something simple since I'm new at this, and I didn't want to have to shop for a bunch of ingredients.
The recipe calls for:
- 1 28 ounce jar pasta sauce (we already had a big jar of Prego, so I used some of that)
- 8 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles (I had no idea what 8 ounces of lasagna noodles looks like, but we had an almost-full box that said 16 oz. on it, so I figured that'd be fine)
- 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
- 3 cups lightly steamed vegetables (I bought a little bag of green beans, 3 zucchini, and 2 yellow squash; we already had a bag of carrots at home--turned out to be about twice as much as I needed!)
- 8 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese (I got a 16 oz. bag of shredded cheese)
So here we go. I did NOT preheat the oven from the get-go, because I prepared the lasagna in the afternoon to put in the oven later that night. My mom said that was a good idea anyway with lasagna to let everything soak in. Anyone else do that?
My first step then was to cut the vegetables. I used a paring knife to slice them up in no particular fashion. I just tried to keep the pieces relatively small since I prefer my veggies inconspicuous.
|I wanted lots of veggies, so I actually ended up using about 2 cups of yellow squash.|
|I did just one cup of green beans because they're not my favorite.|
|I did somewhere between 1-2 cups of zucchini, then 2 medium-sized carrots (not pictured)|
|In some parts you can see how the water is just covering all but the top layers of veggies|
|Note the uncovered corner|
Next, the recipe said to cover the bottom of a 9"x13" casserole dish with a thin layer of sauce. I used a slightly smaller dish because our 9x13 one looked too shallow to me. I didn't adjust the recipe, and it worked fine.
|Thin layer of sauce at bottom of dish|
|Notice the splash from dropping rather than setting in the noodles!|
The next step was to prepare the ricotta by dumping it out in a small mixing bowl and adding 1/4 cup of water. I stirred it up until the water was mixed in well.
|Ricotta with water just added - appetizing, no?|
|Sauce over the ricotta|
|After I spread the sauce around with the spatula, it looked like this.|
Then it was time for veggies! I drained them because there was still quite a bit of water, then I just eyeballed it to add about 1/3 to the casserole.
The next step was to add 1/3 of the mozzarella. Again, I had a different starting amount than what was called for. The recipe said 8 ounces total, so I looked at my mom's cabinet cheat sheet and saw that one 8 oz.=1 cup, so I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup to see how much cheese I needed.
|First vegetable layer|
|In what world is that enough mozzarella?|
Then I just repeated twice, starting with the noodles and ending with the mozzarella.
|Layer two of noodles|
|Looks pretty yummy, right?|
Later that night, I preheated the oven to 350°F and topped the dish with aluminum foil. I put it in the oven and set the timer for 60 minutes, and I removed the foil when 5 minutes were left (another tip from Mom).
Do you have any easy lasagna recipes? Any tips to make mine better? Also, if you try my recipe out, let me know how it goes!