I felt an urgent need to use zucchini, the rest of last week’s chard, and my tomatoes ( the ones from last week were moving past their prime). Since it adds pasta and cheese to their dinner, I knew it would be a hit with the kids. Although, I did hope maybe to have some left overs for lunch later in the week. No recipe; this was freehand.
After blanching and peeling the tomatoes, I processed them in the food processor, with more garlic and oregano.
The key to weeknight lasagna for me is no-cook Lasagna noodles. Mine were Barilla brand. I’m not pre-cooking any of the other stuff, so why should the noodles be special?
Tonight I put in extra effort on the cheeses. Last time I made this, I used some crumbled goat cheese the kids didn’t like and left overs of parmesan and cheddar – whatever I had. Tonight I went to the store on the way home and bought ricotta, fresh mozzarella, and we did have some parmesan already. I grated the mozzarella and Parmesan and combined it with about 1 c. of ricotta (and more oregano).
Sliced zucchini and chopped swiss chard completed the list of ingredients.
I didn’t have enough tomato sauce to make a BIG pan of lasagna, so I used a large bread loaf pan. This has the advantage of being taller, so I can stack the lasagna deeper. More layers of goodness! After coating the pan with cooking spray, start with tomato sauce, then noodles, then I layered meat, cheese, zucchini, tomato sauce, noodles, meat, chard, cheese , etc. until the pan was stacked to the top!
End with noodles, sauce, then cheese – ending up with crunchy browned cheese on top is mandatory.
It baked in the oven for about 50 minutes at 300 degrees. Lucky for me there was a football game on, so I could rest while it baked. I also use football as an excuse to stop doing yard work on Sundays. There are too many college teams for me to follow, so my Saturdays in the Fall are pretty free.
It was beautiful, and apparently the kids were hungry, because they each went back for seconds and it is all gone. No lunches for me. 😦