So, you take a walk to the farmer’s market in Union Square. You pick up a cucumber because you really wanted a cucumber sandwich. Then you spy a table of summer squash galore. Bags of yellow and green squash for $2 each. Each bag contains about 6 small zucchini. You buy two simply because it’s a bargain.
You have a spending problem.
Okay… I have a spending problem. But how could you blame me? I love summer squash and when its available, always use it as a side dish. Its versatile. Its easy to cook with. And its healthy. So please tell me what da EFF was I thinking when I purchased 5 lbs of squash???
I was thinking that I was going to enjoy grilled zucchini. fried zucchini. stuffed zucchini. broiled zucchini. breaded zucchini. zucchini. zucchini. zucchini.
What eventually happened was I got really tired of zucchini.
I really miss my friend, Mike, who moved to the West Coast a few months ago and I fondly remember the lasagna he made for me. I liked it so much I wrote it a letter asking it to marry me. But missing my friend and his lasagna, I decided to make a veggie lasagna inspired by the dude. Excuse me, the now west coast dude.
Spicy Summer Squash Lasagna (makes 12 servings)
1 box of lasagna noodles
8 oz part skim ricotta
1 lb part skim mozarella, shredded
2 medium zucchini (or 6 small zucchini), sliced
1 Tbsp fresh basil
In a 9 x 13 baking pan, spray surface with non stick cooking spray. Lay uncooked lasagna noodles in the pan covering the surface. My pan needed 5 lasagna noodles and if one didn’t fit perfectly, I broke it to make it fit. HULK status.
Cover the noodles liberally with marinara sauce, about 1 cup or enough to cover the noodles.
Next, add a single layer of zucchini. Because the zucchini loses a lot of water in the cooking process, the excess liquid helps cook the noodles to perfection.
Add several small spoonfuls of ricotta cheese on top of the zucchini. Then add about 1 –2 cups of sauce, followed by a layer of mozzarella cheese (1 cup). Repeat 2 more times, or until you have 1 inch remaining to the top.
Add a final layer of sauce, being sure to liberally cover every surface with sauce. Cover with remaining cheese and sprinkle with fresh basil.
Cover and bake at 350* for 1 hr. Allow the lasagna to rest before cutting into it right away so the cheese has time to settle. Makes 12 portions… or more if you don’t like big portions.
These can be frozen by wrapping individual servings in foil and placed in a freezer bag. It’s a great way to store leftovers in case of emergencies.
…or in my case feeding the parents who live across the street.
Lately, with my family being so close to me, I make extra so that I can share it with them. I love knowing they are so close by. I love even more showing up at their door with a container full of hot veggie lasagna and having dinner with them at the table.
Food has a beautiful way of bringing us closer together as a family. And as we sat down to this spicy veggie lasagna, we ate in silence for all of 5 minutes in pure enjoyment until someone broke the silence with a loud and grateful belch. Then we all laughed heartily. Together. At the dinner table.
*shake some parm cheese on this baby before eating! oh my!*