Dinners

Recipe—Ratatouille Lasagna

My last recipe post was for very fabulous ratatouille. Well if you are like me you probably had leftovers. The leftovers can be used for a whole plethora of things but my favorite has to be lasagna. I love the big hearty pieces of vegetables cooked together with Italian sausage and some rich cheeses. This ended up being the best lasagna I have ever had! You can make one large lasagna in a 9” x 13” baking dish or two small ones in 8” x 8” dishes. I opted to make 2 so that I could freeze one for another night. That means I get to enjoy this delish dish twice! Oh lucky me! Gotta love this French meal turned Italian.

Note: When I make lasagna I like to double up the noodles on the top and bottom layers. I feel like it helps hold it together better for ease of serving. This requires that you cook one and a half boxes of noodles since just one isn’t enough for this method. If you don’t want to double up then one box is completely adequate.

INGREDIENTS
1 lb Italian sausage
15 oz can tomato sauce
4 c leftover ratatouille
1 1/2 boxes wavy lasagna noodles
15 oz container ricotta cheese
1/4 c fresh basil chopped
salt and pepper
4 c mozzarella, shredded

STEPS

  • In a large skillet brown your sausage and drain off any excess grease.
  • Add tomato sauce and ratatouille to skillet and warm through over medium heat.
  • While the ratatouille is heating through cook your lasagna noodles according to the package instructions, drain, and separate.
  • In a small bowl combine the ricotta, basil, salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 400º.
  • Prepare a 9” x 13” baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
  • Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of the cooked noodles and then place a second layer of the cooked noodles on top of that going the opposite direction.
  • Spoon in about 1/3 of your ratatouille sauce over your lasagna noodles and spread evenly.
  • Top sauce with half the ricotta mixture and sprinkle a handful of the mozzarella over the top of the ricotta.
  • Place a single layer of noodles over the ricotta and spoon in about 1/3 of your ratatouille sauce over your lasagna noodles and spread evenly.
  • Top sauce with half the ricotta mixture and sprinkle a handful of the mozzarella over the top of the ricotta.
  • Top the lasagna with cooked noodles and place a second layer of the cooked noodles on top of that going the opposite direction.
  • Spoon remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 25–30 minutes or until the top is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown.
  • Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
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Dinners

Recipe—Mediterranean Chicken Stackers

Mediterranean chicken stackers are one of the more complex recipes that I have shared. It’ not necessarily complicated, it’s just lots of little steps. It’s certainly worth it though if you like Mediterranean inspired food. I love this served over noodles that have been tossed in garlic and olive oil. There are so many flavors in the chicken stacker itself, that you really don’t need a sauce for your noodles. Think of this as a play on chicken and eggplant parmigiana in one. What’s not to love?!?!

Note: If you aren’t a fan of goat cheese then I recommend using mozzarella instead. Mozzarella has a much more mild flavor.

INGREDIENTS
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch slices (you will need one slice per chicken breast)
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 c croutons, coarsely crushed
1 tsp garlic, minced
3 oz herb goat cheese at room temperature or sliced mozzarella
4–5 thin sliced chicken breasts
1 beefsteak tomato (you will need one 1/4″ thick slice per chicken breast and the rest of the tomato finely diced)

STEPS

  • Lightly sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and allow them to sit for 15 minutes.
  • In a large skillet heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the crushed croutons and minced garlic to the pan and cook until lightly toasted, about 6­–8 minutes.
  • Transfer the cooked croutons to a small bowl and set aside.
  • Pat your eggplant dry.
  • In that same skillet heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the eggplant and cook until golden and tender only turning once or twice, about 6­–7 minutes.
  • Transfer the eggplant to a large plate and spread an even layer of goat cheese over each slice (1–2 tbsp), or add a slice of mozzarella to each if you opted for that.
  • Lightly cover the eggplant with a sheet of foil to keep warm.
  • Season your chicken breast with salt and pepper.
  • Using the same skillet add 2 tbsp olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Put your chicken in the skillet and cook turning once or twice for 8–10 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Add a chicken breast to each slice of cheese covered eggplant and again cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Place the tomato slices in the skillet and cook turning once to warm through.
  • Add the tomato slices to the top of each chicken breast and again cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and 1/4 cup of water to the pan and scrape up all the bits in the pan using a spatula. Bring to a boil
  • Cook stirring occasionally until thickened, about 3 minutes. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • Add your previously cooked croutons to the tomatoes and stir together.
  • Plate your chicken stacker and top with the crouton and tomato mixture.