Recipe #17 (or Bell is Back)

Ring That Bell Recipe Diary

8/1/’10

After a very long hiatus from cooking and baking from Mary’s Ring That Bell cookbook I am back. I think recipe #16 threw me under the bus. But, I have gotten back up, dusted me and myself off and, as of last night, baked a veggie lasagna. Inspired by some incredibly fresh ingredients from Mountain View Farm I couldn’t resist. I’m glad I didn’t let the disaster of recipe #16 ruin me because recipe #17 rocked.

Basil and Spinach Lasagna

Basil is something I have an abundance of right now. Between the plant I bought and the amount I got on Saturday from the U-pick I have more than enough for this recipe (it calls for a cup, packed). Spinach was another story. Confession – I started this recipe without realizing I didn’t have any spinach whatsoever, fresh or frozen (recipe calls for frozen, squeezed dry). I improvised with swiss chard and beet greens. For good measure I added sauteed eggplant and summer squash. Other alterations – fresh thyme, oregano, parsley and basil for the sauce (recipe calls for dried, any combination). Last alteration – Mary wanted me to add three cans of different kinds of tomatoes. I can’t stand canned tomatoes unless they are really, really hidden. Those big-azz chunks freak me out and gross me out, tasting like tin. I added one can petite-cut tomatoes and 1 can tomato sauce.

Observations: I need a deeper lasagna pan. I could have gone several layers deep with this one. The cool thing about this recipe is that I could have layered any kind of pasta, layered in some kind of meat like sausage or ground beef, or switched up the cheeses and it still would have been fantastic. The secret is in the sauce. The onion and garlic flavor the base nicely. The fresh herbs round out the flavors after it has been simmering for at least 30 minutes. Really, really nice.

Taste: Gorgeous. Summer steaming with pasta and cheese. What could be better?

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Categories: dinners, Ring That Bell | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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