Monday, August 24, 2009

Stranded at the AMPM - Summer Vegetable Lasagna

Thanks, Monday. That was fun. Let's never do it again.

Note the sarcasm.

Turns out it's kind of risky to take my car outside of an 11 mile radius from my apartment, because if it breaks down, that is exactly how far my roadside assistance will cover. After that? $10 per mile. Good to know. Probably would have been smarter to realize that before my four co-workers and I were about 30 miles outside of town, headed to work event. Painful. So painful.

Thankfully, my co-workers are beyond amazing. The kind of people you'd actually enjoy being stranded at an AMPM in the middle of nowhere with. And one of them happened to be covered by AAA, which (depending on your coverage) will cover your towing 100 miles or more. Chris, our tow-truck guy, was very nice, and as luck would have it, my amazing mechanic was still at the shop after 6:30 pm. He bounded up as we pulled up and gave me a pat on the back. "Don't worry," he said "It's not that bad. I promise it won't cost that much." Luckily, I know I can believe him. If anyone needs a good Berkeley mechanic, lemme know!

And that, my friends, was just the best part of my day.

Except for the leftovers of the summer vegetable lasagna I made last night.

It is good. I am exhausted. If you'll excuse me, it is definitely time to end this day. Good. Night.

Also: Seriously, Monday. Never again.

Summer Vegetable Lasagna
Serves 8

1 lb lasagna noodles (in the interest of time, I used the no boil noodles)
1 1/2 cups ricotta
1 1/2 cups spinach (I used frozen)
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped mint
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 zucchini, thinly sliced
2 yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
1 jar spaghetti/marinara sauce (about 24 ounces) divided into thirds

This lasagna is all about the veggies. I made a sort of piperade with the onion, bell peppers and garlic, similar to a ratatouille. This makes for a for a fragrant and tasty filling. Adding squash and fresh summer herbs to that increases the depth of flavor. Overall, it's a pretty healthy dish, a great way to use summer squash and zucchini.

Preheat the over to 350. Butter a 11x14 glass baking dish. Saute the diced bell pepper, onion and garlic over medium heat until fragrant and slightly tender and add a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Spread 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the dish. Layer 4 lasagna noodles over the sauce. Mix the ricotta cheese with the mint, parsley, salt & pepper. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the first layer of noodles. Layer half of the zuchini and squash slices over the cheese. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Spread the spinach over that, and over the spinach, spread the onion and pepper mixture. Pour another layer of sauce and sprinkle half the parmesean cheese over that. Add another layer of 4 lasagna noodles, then the last layer of ricotta mixture, the last layer of squash, and the last of the sauce and parmesean over that. Bake for 45-50 minutes, uncovered. Serve.


  1. Looks fabulous! And hey, who is your mechanic? ;-)

  2. mmmm, love the pic with the zucchini on top1

  3. Thanks guys. Kim, Peter Mitchell in Berkeley. Try him out, you'll never go to anyone else!