05 January 2011

This Week in My Kitchen: Pasta Galore!

Even though it's the new year and time for a stab at healthier eating and weight loss, we're on carb overload in my house this week.

Rotini with Mushroom-Tomato Sauce
This is a weeknight favourite for Kirk and I. Easy to make, even easier to eat! Sauteed mushrooms, shallots and garlic with sun dried tomatoes and black olives in a can of crushed tomatoes, simmered with oregano and crushed pepper flakes and served over your favourite pasta noodles. What's not to like?

1 shallot, 1 clove of elephant garlic and a bunch of brown mushrooms in olive oil

Kirk doesn't like whole wheat pasta, so sometimes I humour him by going half & half

I dressed it up with a little Daiya that I bought for making lasagna.
I discovered that as good as Daiya is melted, it's kinda gross if it's not melted.

Veggie Lasagna
The only things I really miss cheese on are poutine and lasagna. I have to say, Daiya cheese has improved vegan lasagna for me tenfold. This is not something I make often, as it's a lot of work to put together, but I sure love it!
Here's a step-by-step of my lasagna building process:

1. Not pictured: Tomato Sauce - Sweat 2-3 cloves of garlic and 1 small onion in 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add 1 can of crushed tomatoes, some oregano, rosemary and crushed red pepper flakes to taste, and a pinch of salt. Simmer for a while, until slightly thickened.

 2. Layer One: Spread some tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan and cover with lasagna noodles (I used whole wheat noodles that needed to be precooked - just check your package and follow the instructions). Cover the noodles with a generous layer of fresh spinach, torn into bite-sized pieces and some Cashew Ricotta from Veganomicon.

3. Layer Two: Cover the spinach and ricotta layer with another layer of lasagna noodles. Top with a generous layer of tomato sauce and sliced mushrooms (any kind works).

4. Layer Two cont'd: Top the mushrooms with zucchini, sliced long & thin (I could have used a bigger zucchini).

5. Layer Three: Top the zucchini with another layer of noodles and tomato sauce, then more spinach, mushrooms and ricotta.

6. Top Layer: Top with one more layer of noodles and lots of tomato sauce, then 1/2-3/4 of a small bag of Daiya cheese.

7. Pop it in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. If the cheese doesn't brown, put it under the broiler, but only for a minute or two.

8. Take the lasagna out of the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes (it'll be watery if you cut it too soon).

9. Dig in! Eat up! Yum! I love the crusty end bits...

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