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.
Dinners, Side Dishes

Recipe—Ratatouille

Ratatouille Over Penne

When most people hear the word ratatouille they think of a movie about a little rat named Remy who dreams about becoming a chef. Ratatouille is not just a very cute Pixar movie; it is also a delicious dish loaded with succulent Mediterranean vegetables that your family is sure to enjoy.

Ratatouille is a traditional French vegetable stew that originated in Nice. The full name is ratatouille niçoise. It is a flavorful, hearty, low calorie fare that can be served as an excellent main dish, to accompany a protein, or tossed with pasta. This recipe is a great way to utilize all those wonderful summer garden veggies that are in season. Aside from all the chopping this recipe is very easy to prepare.

Ratatouille

I will state that this makes a pretty hearty amount so you will probably have leftovers unless you are serving a whole army. The leftovers are incredible, as the flavors seem to intensify with time. I made lasagna with my leftovers and I must say it is one of the best lasagnas I have ever had! The big chunky vegetables were awesome, especially when I paired them with Italian sausage and some ricotta. I will be sure to share that recipe with you next. Delish!

INGREDIENTS
1/4 c olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 yellow bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
15 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 c fresh basil, chopped

STEPS

  • In a large pot that has a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Cook onions until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic and cook for about 1 min.
  • Add in eggplant and zucchini and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water, cover, and simmer stirring once until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in bell peppers, cover, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Add in tomatoes and thyme and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cover.
  • Stir occasionally until vegetables are cooked to desired consistency. Mine take about 12–15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in basil, and serve immediately.