Our farmers market is overflowing with a bountiful selection of summertime vegetables. I was drawn to the beautiful luscious green zucchini and bright sunny yellow squash, all the while anticipating making a vegetable lasagna. I’ve been wanting to make this special recipe I had seen earlier in the week. I certainly didn’t need any additional coaxing, I purchased four baskets in all, two each of these wonderful flavors.
Another reason I am excited about this recipe is because I made it for our friend Lori over at Creating A Fair Haven. You see, recently Lori broke her foot while working to renovate their family business. Knowing that her days are already filled with homeschooling four lovely children, the ongoing responsibility of running the household and the Mr. away on a business trip, this had me wanting to pitch in some way and make a wonderful meal for the family.
I adapted this recipe from Not Eating Out New York, it’s an incredibly simple – quick and tasty recipe, you’ll see! I’ve made some changes to the original recipe to include spinach, additional cheese and a basil pesto.
Here’s what you need… 1: 9 x 12 pan or 2: 8 x 8 pans, a saute pan, prep time 30 minutes, cook time 30 minutes Serves 12
6 medium zucchini
6 medium yellow squash
4 cups fresh spinach
2 garlic clove (minced)
16 oz ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup basil pesto (any store-bought or homemade)
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Clean spinach, remove long stems and pat dry. In a saucepan on medium heat add 2 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic allow to heat for 1 minute, add spinach and sauté until spinach has wilted. Remove from heat and set aside, allow the spinach to cool room temperature.
Clean zucchini and squash by removing the ends, cut lengthwise in 1/8 inch slices, place in a dish and drizzle with 4 tablespoons olive oil on both sides, add sea salt and pepper to taste.
Gently mix together ricotta and the two eggs, mixing well. Adding to the ricotta mixture a 1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano, remaining minced garlic and a dash of sea salt and pepper.
Grease your pan with the remaining tablespoons of olive oil. Begin layering your zucchini vertically along the bottom of your pan.
Followed by a thin layer of spinach about 1/3 cup. Add 1/3 cup of pesto spreading evenly throughout and mixing lightly with the spinach.
Take a 1/2 cup of the ricotta mixture and spread atop. Add a layer of yellow squash horizontally. Repeat the layers finishing the top layer with yellow squash. Sprinkle the top with remaining spinach and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 20 minutes, slice and serve.
I would like to say I made this dish without incurring any drama of my own, however this was not the case. My intentions were to deliver this straight from the oven to Lori’s front door. Surprise the family with a warm inviting dinner that evening. This is not what happened!
As Jeff and I prepared the lasagna for the trip, each one of us holding a dish, Jeff took a misstep on the stairs. These stairs!
I didn’t hear a thing… though I felt something… something warm… I felt it slide down the inside of my shirt, inside the cuff of my pants, inside my sneakers, well you get the picture. Jeff slipped down the stairs and I broke his fall.
It was a little chaotic for a few moments, making sure Jeff wasn’t hurt, thank goodness he wasn’t. Meanwhile I was soaked in warm Lasagna inside every-bit of clothing I had on. All the while, I was holding that last tray of lasagna way above my head, as a tightrope walker would maintaining my center of balance, as I marinated in our new set of circumstances. All of a sudden it reminded me of what brought us here in the first place. Lori’s broken foot!
After Jeff reassured me he was alright and witnessing a brief argument between Jeff and his black crocs, I believe I saw one flying across our parking lot. This all seemed like a scene from a comedy! I began to giggle once I realized Jeff was OK and how funny I looked bathed in Lasagna. We cleaned ourselves up and called it a night.
The next day we delivered the lasagna to Lori’s without any other episodes. Can I promise when you make this Lasagna it will be without any unfortunate circumstances? I can’t, but I can promise you this… you’ll like it!