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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Corky's Lasagna Giardino

1 cup onions diced
1 cup celery diced
3 tbsp garlic minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes (crushed)
3 cups tomatoes (cherry)
28 oz pasta sauce your favourite brand
2 tbsp Italian seasonings (oregano, parsley, basil, rosemary)
2 eggplants (medium sized - not peeled)
2 zucchini
2 sweet potatoes
5 carrots (peeled)
1 lb Portobello mushrooms
2 red bell peppers
1 lb spinach wilted & drained
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup each of cheese (Provolone, mozzarella, brick, gouda)
1 Lb fresh lasanga pasta sheets
olive oil, salt and pepper

In a large pot add 2 tsp olive oil - add onions, celery, garlic and cook till onions are transparent. Add pepper flakes and tomatoes and simmer over low heat. Add your pasta sauce, herbs and continue to simmer while you create the remainder of the dish.

Take Eggplant and slice horizontally (all vegetables are done on horizontal cuts) slicing approximately 1/4" thick - place in a large dish cover with kosher salt and place a layer of plastic wrap over top of the eggplant - place a heavy object on top to weight the eggplant. Leave this until you can see a remarkable amount of fluids at the bottom of the dish. Approximately 50 minutes to and hour and a half. Wash the eggplant and pat dry.

Cut the remainder of your vegetables - zucchini, sweet potato and carrots in the same horizontal fashion approximately 1/4" thick. Along with the mushrooms - place all of your vegetables in a large bowl and cover with a generous amount of Extra Virgin Olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. The Red Peppers can be roasted whole and then cleaned and cut into segments after grilling. Preheat your grill (indoor or outdoor - if using outdoor I sometimes try to add some hickory or mesquite smokiness to it) the grill should be close to 400 all of the vegetables on the grill - turning after 4-5 minutes or until a nice char has been made. Remove vegetables to a sheet pan to cool.

Blend the ricotta, eggs, and 2/3rds of the mixed cheese along with the spinach.

In a large 8 x 13 baking pan add 1/2 cup of your sauce to the bottom of the dish and spread evenly over the bottom. Arrange your eggplant over the bottom of the dish, place a layer of pasta on the eggplant. Using one half of your vegetables (except the zucchini and squash) layer them over top of the pasta - using 1/3 of your sauce cover with sauce and then with the cheese. Your next layer will be the zucchini and squash. Repeat with your roasted vegetables-pasta - sauce and cheese mixture – finish with the final 1/3rd of mixed cheese, bake in 350 degree oven until cheese is bubbling and melted. Allow to rest 10-15 minutes before slicing and enjoying.