I love vegetables and cook with them a lot, especially as the garden starts producing. This pasta is a family favorite, adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe. It’s lasagne, but not–all the flavors of lasagne without the layering and long cooking time.
The ingredients are what I use to make a regular vegetarian lasagne with tomato sauce, with the exception of the type of pasta:
For the veggie sauce topping:
- 2 small yellow squash, cut into half-moon slices
- 2 small zucchini, cut into half-moon slices
- 2 bell peppers, cut into a large dice (These peppers looked better at the store than the green ones this time. They also add pretty and healthy color!)
- a quarter of a large red onion, chopped
- a package of pre-sliced mushrooms (Already cleaned and sliced is a real time-saver!)
- 1 TBSP of olive oil for saute
- 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
For the pasta with cheese sauce:
- 1 package of pasta, cooked according to package directions. (I chose rotini because it reminds me of the curly edges of lasagne noodles!)
- 6 oz package ricotta
- about 1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
- 1 cup grated mixed Italian cheeses
- 3 or 4 green onions, chopped
- 1/2-1 cup pasta water–collect it from the pot just before draining the pasta.
Cook pasta according to package directions, retain 1 cup of cooking water and drain.
Place a large skillet over medium heat and add oil. Prepare all the veggies.
(Aren’t these pretty?! Lots of healthy colors!)
Add all the veggies except mushrooms to the skillet; season with salt and pepper. Saute until they start getting soft, but are still crisp and vibrant.
Add mushrooms. Continue sauteing until mushrooms start cooking–you’ll be able to smell them.
Stir in tomato sauce. Simmer 10 minutes.
This will be smelling super good right about now….
Leave the pasta in the strainer for a sec while you assemble the cheese sauce in the same pot you used to cook the pasta.
Reduce heat to medium low. Add yogurt, ricotta, grated Italian cheese, chopped green onions and 1/2 cup pasta water. Stir to combine, season with salt and pepper. Add more pasta water if needed for desired consistancy.
Stir the pasta into the sauce and heat through.
Spoon pasta into a bowl, top with veggie sauce and more grated cheese. Close your eyes and take a bite…..tastes just like lasagne!
Oh yeah…it’s lasagne all right, for those times when you don’t have time to layer and bake. Imagine all the different lasagnes you’ve had……now imagine them made using this method! This pasta travels well–I’ve put it together in a large covered aluminum pan, making it perfect for potlucks. Yummy!