Someone asked me to post some vegetarian recipes up here (woot!) so let's see. I don't often use recipes, but mostly just memory of watching what my mom used/how she cooked and modifying it to be meatless.
Anyway, I usually end up making lasagne for meat-eating/vegetarian folks alike since it is the most "non-threatening" meatless meal I can think of. Nearly everyone loves lasagne, and those that don't....well, there's just something wrong with them and they don't need to come to my house anyway.
So here's how I make lasagne for the most part (Please keep in mind measurements are approximate, but lasagnas are messy and forgiving anyway- pretty hard to mess one up). Tip- lots of prep so buy stuff pre-grated, pre-sliced, etc if you want less work.
- 9 - 12 lasagne noodles (depending on how big your pan is....if you're like me and end up breaking some anyway, best to make 12 - 15)
- 1 large can crushed or diced tomatoes
- 1 16 oz. container ricotta cheese
- Lots of mozzarella (8 - 16 oz?)
- Other cheeses of choice (a pre-grated mixed italian blend is easy, or just cheddar, parmesean, whatever) -grated
- 1 egg
- 1 bunch of fresh spinach, chopped and lightly cooked (don't worry if your kid doesn't like spinach, he won't know)
- 1 red & 1 green bell pepper (or just 1 of either, or whatever) diced
- 1 small white onion diced
- 1 can sliced olives (if you like them)
- some sliced mushrooms (if you like them, personally I think they're nasty)
- 1 - 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
- other veggies if you want (try 1 small diced zucchini, or sun dried tomatoes, whatever)
- fresh or dried italian herbs... oregano, basil, or go with the premade Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 350
Step 1) Boil noodles until pliable but still firm.
2) While noodles are boiling, sautee your onions, garlic, & peppers (and mushrooms if you like fungus, + the "other veggies"- NOT the spinach) in olive oil or butter or whatever (olive oil is best).
3) When onions become translucent, dump in the can of diced/crushed tomatoes, olives, and Italian herbs to taste and let this sauce simmer while you prep other ingredients.
4) Beat 1 egg into ricotta. Take cooked spinach and either in a cheesecloth (if you have one, I use paper towels or a clean dishtowel) and squeeze as much liquid out of it as you possibly can. Use those muscles, superman. Now add your cooked, chopped, squeezed spinach into ricotta-egg mixture.
5) Take a couple spoons of sauce and lightly cover the bottom of your casserole dish/baking pan/whatever. Lay 3 noodles (or 4 if your pan is big) in the bottom. Lighly layer with the following- a couple spoons of sauce, a thin layer of ricotta-spinach mixture, a thin layer mozarella and a thin layer of "other cheeses." Repeat this process until you've covered your lasagne with the last few noodles. On the top layer just put a little sauce, mozarella, and "other cheeses" (not the ricotta, use all that on the inside).
6) Bake in oven covered (foil works) for about 45 minutes, uncover and finish baking for about 15 minutes. Now, oven times/temperatures vary greatly so if this isnt' done, leave in longer. If it is cooking too fast, well take it out before it burns.
I made this for the new bf, and he had 3 pieces before he asked "OMG is there spinach in here?" so don't let that freak you out