Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fall Vegetable Lasagna

Hi guys! Long time no blog! 

So, I need to preface this post with a little personal story. This week, Jack's Mannequin announced that they will be (amicably) disbanding. If you knew me in high school, you'll know I was just a little bit obsessed with this band. At one of their earliest shows - a TINY show at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco, I got to meet Andrew, the lead singer and pianist, who puts on the best live show I've ever seen (photo of us below - check out my baby face!). Not long after that, he was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent a stem cell transplant the same week that Jack's Mannequin's first album came out. Fortunately he made a full recovery and has continued making amazing music ever since. His songs were the soundtrack to Gabe's and my early dating years in high school, and they played over the radio as we drove up and down the coast of California to visit each other during college. 

Last year, we got to meet him together and tell him how much his music meant to us - it was such an awesome experience!

Anyway, thanks Andrew for the music, and thanks to everyone else for listening to me ramble! Now on to the recipe...

I've been noticing lately that it's getting dark earlier, and the morning air is just a little bit colder than usual. This can only mean one thing: it's lasagna season! I mean, fall!

Seriously though, I think lasagna is the ultimate comfort food - pasta, sweet tomato sauce, gooey cheese, and fall vegetables (and/or meat if you so choose). I whipped up a pan of it earlier this week and I'm not ashamed to say that Gabe and I ate half of it in one sitting. For this recipe, I used some late summer squash and zucchini, but you can substitute in whatever you'd like!

Fall Vegetable Lasagna:
1 package lasagna noodles (approx. 1 pound)
4 small-medium squash, halved and thinly sliced
4 small-medium zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
About 2 cups white mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 cups tomato sauce
3 cups (at least!) mozzarella cheese, grated

Start by cooking the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. For some reason these noodles always stick together, so make sure you add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the pasta water. Drain the noodles and let them cool.

Thinly slice your vegetables - you don't want them too thick otherwise they won't cook in the lasagna. 

Then the fun part - lasagna assembly! I start by spreading about 3 heaping spoonfuls of tomato sauce in the bottom of a pan (usually a 9 by 13 pan is the best but I used a pie pan here and made a smaller lasagna). Then add a layer of noodles, another layer of sauce, and on top of that a layer of vegetables. Spread a generous amount of grated cheese over the veggies, then cover it all with noodles. Continue with this noodles-sauce-veggies-cheese pattern until your pan can't hold any more! Top it all off with some more sauce and cheese which will get nice and crispy in the oven...mmm.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 40-45 minutes, or until it's bubbly and brown on top. 

I don't even know what to say about this and staging courtesy of Gabe:

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