Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summer Garden Vegetable Lasagna

So, what to do with pounds of beautiful home grown Romano Tomatoes that my friend game me? and Eggplants?  and Bell Peppers?  I had a couple of ideas, but I chose to make Lasagna.
Lasagna seems so simple to make.  A layer of this and a layer of that.  But, the Lasagna pasta is not very forgiving to prepare since all our pots are round, and they are rectangle.  But I came across this pre-cooked lasagna.  It seems that all I need to do is add them between the layers of sauce.  I tried it and I love it.
8 to 9 lasagna pasta, "No Boil Required"  by Barilla
1 small red onions - chopped
2 small green bell peppers (optional), chopped
3 Tbsp Traditional Basil Pesto sauce
3 lb Ripe Romano Tomatoes, washed, seeded and cut into chunks
10 pieces of Chicken strips grilled in George Foreman's Hamburger grill
1-1/4 lb Japanese eggplants, sliced and grilled in George Foreman's Hamburger grill
1/2 C Sun dried tomatoes - rehydrated in 1/2 C hot water
1-1/2 lb shredded Mozzarella cheese
Sea Salt - 1/2 Tbsp
1 tsp black pepper
1 jar - 24 oz Classico Spicy Tomatoes & Pesto sauce
1 Tbsp butter, unsalted
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp Oregano.  Add 1 Tbsp at a time to taste.

Pan:  9x9x2-1/2 baking dish or any others, but don't forget to increase the amount of lasagna pasta.
Baking Temp:  Bake covered in aluminum foil at 400'F until the internal temperature reaches 165'F or higher and bubbly.
Slice eggplants lengthwise and grill in George Foreman's countertop hamburger grill.  It should be somewhat translucent.  Cut with scissors into smaller pieces.  Set aside.
Grill chicken strips.  Tear apart into smaller strips.  Set aside

Saute onions in butter and olive oil till translucent.  Then, add bell peppers. Stir fry 1 min.
Lower heat and add Traditional Basil Pesto.  Stir to incorporate.
Add Romano Tomatoes.  Add salt, black pepper, and 1 Tbsp Oregano.   Turn to medium high heat. Cook 3 min.
Medium low heat - Add Spicy Tomatoes and Pesto sauce.  Taste and add more salt and Oregano, if needed.  Stir and cook till heated through.

Time to assemble -Preheat oven to 400'F.  Have aluminum foil handy.  Extra baking pan or sheet to catch spill.
In the baking dish:
1.  Add tomato sauce
2.  Add lasagna pasta
3.  Add tomato sauce
4.  Add Mozarella
5.  Add eggplant pieces
6.  Add chicken pieces
7.  Add Mozzarella
8.  Add sauce
9.  Add lasagna pasta
10.  Add sauce
11. Add Mozarella
Wrap up in Aluminum foil and place on top of baking sheet or another larger size baking pan.
Bake till bubbly and internal temperature reaches 165'F+.  Approx. 1 hr 40 min+

Taste test:  Delicious.  I am sure there are other ones out there that is also.  But I got to use all the homegrown veges in one dish, and thank goodness for the "no boiling required" lasagna pasta and George Foreman's grill.  It saved me time. I would consider to omit the bell peppers after stir frying them.  I tasted bitterness in the outer peel.  May be peel the bell pepper before stir frying?  that may be a good idea.

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