Today was clear-out-the-fridge day. I had no vision of what I was going to make...just went with the flow and here is what I ended up with. When I cook like this, it's all guts and instinct...but a hell of a lot of fun!
1/2 chopped red onion
4 carrots, 1/2 inch cubes
5 ribs celery, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can of chick peas
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
4 bay leaves
1. Heat oil over medium heat; add chopped vegetables and saute until onions are softend (5 minutes).
2. Add chickpeas, tomatoes and herbs and cook for 10 minutes - salt and pepper to taste; The carrots should still be crisp and have some bite.
***this was delicious as a hearty stew, topped with some freshly shaved parmesan and sopped up with some crusty bread.
3. Bang up the ragu a bit with a masher
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1.5-2 cups milk
1 teaspoon nutmeg - adjust if nutmeg is not your scene - I LOVE nutmeg!
salt and pepper to taste
1. Melt butter in saucepan; add flour and cook through (2 minutes)
2. Whisk in milk - add enough for a yoghurt consistency
3. S and P it
Putting it all together
10 lasagna noodles, out of the box
1 jar spinach cheese pasta sauce - go ahead, tell my nonna...
1/2 large yellow squash - zucchini would work too - seeded and sliced
1.5 C shredded mozzarella
1 tub of ricotta cheese
1. Spoon some of the jarred sauce on the bottom of a 13X9 dish
2. Lay out 5 lasagna sheets over the sauce
3. Spoon on half of the chickpea ragu; top with ricotta and more sauce
4. Layer on 5 more noodles, ragu, squash, bechemel sauce, rest of sauce
5. Top with mozzarella cheese.
6. Cook at 375 until cheese is golden brown - about 25-30 minutes
Verdict: this was surprisingly delicious; the vegetables were still al dente and the nutmeg added an earthy and robust dimension. The chick peas provided the potent protein. There was really a variety of textures, from the creaminess of the chickpeas to the smooth gluten of the noodles to the crisp veggies, that made this different from many of the vegetarian lasagnas I've had.
Leap into the Dark Lasagna...not for the weak-kneed. Have you got the ovaries?