This week, I lost one of my best friends. My friend Katie hopped on a plane to Italy for the next 8 weeks, trading me for a an opportunity to study abroad.
She gets: Pasta. Pizza. Gelato. Foreign boys. Italia.
I get: Minneapolis. 40 hour work-weeks. The goldfish I’m noshing on while writing this.
Yeah, life’s hard.
So, in honor of her departure, and because Italian food is just fantastic, I made Lasagna. (Veggie style, because I used real dairy in it.)
- 1lb box of lasagna noodles
- 24 oz. spaghetti sauce
- 24 oz. cottage cheese
- 1 pkg. shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- Vegetables of your choice
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles.
- Spread 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese on top of the noodles in layers.
- Next add a layer of 1/2 the spinach leaves, and a layer of 1/2 of the chopped vegetables.
- Cover with another layer of uncooked noodles.
- Spread layers of sauce, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella on the noodles.
- Top with the other half of the spinach leaves and vegetables.
- Add the third and final layer of uncooked noodles.
- Cover with the remaining sauce, cottage cheese, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheese.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes at 350°F. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
The Shiksa’s Sassy Commentary
Taste: I’m going to point out the obvious. It’s spaghetti with long, thin noodles, the additional flavors come from the vegetables you choose.
The cottage cheese is an interesting addition in my book. Traditionally, my lasagna uses ricotta. Despite my dislike for cottage cheese, it was a good substitute for the less-healthy ricotta.
Insider Tips: For the sauce, I used Bertolli’s Tomato and Basil, which would be my perfect spaghetti sauce. However, I like my sauce to be a little heartier, so next time I’ll be using either a 5-Cheese sauce, or sauce with a more significant amount of garlic.
(I have a secret love affair with garlic. It seems to seep from your pores for days after you eat it, but it also keeps away the infernal Edward Cullens of the world.)
As for my vegetables, I chose tomatoes, yellow peppers, and mushrooms, and I did not use nearly enough. (I think I just gave my mom a heart attack.)
Next time I make this, I’ll be adding zucchini and other bell peppers to the mix as well. I didn’t add them initially in fear of mixing flavors irreparably. I regret that. The peppers will go great with the tomato and garlic.
Final Verdict: This recipe is worth repeating. Even without the changes from above, it’s still a good meal, and a great way to get your vegetable servings for the day. If you’re like me, that’s quite the feat.
I’d love to hear from some veggie lasagna veterans- which vegetables do you add to your lasagna? Have you braved tofu in it?