Inside-Out Vegetable Lasagna
When you hear the words “inside-out”, what do you think of? Do you think of the film where every emotion has a character? (If you haven’t seen the movie, it is cute.) Do you think about accidently wearing a piece of clothes the wrong way? (I went to the beach last week and put my t-shirt inside out when I left…went to lunch like that…and then errands….or at least that is the story I’m going with!)
Sometimes inside out makes me think of just being all turned around and not knowing what is going on. I have felt like that lately. I feel like things are just opposite the way they should be.
It made me start thinking that life can sometimes be like a sock. We all like our socks to be a particular way and they almost reflect our personalities. I like a bit of design on mine but have days where the drab white ones also suit my mood.
Life can be dirty too. No one wants it to be that way but it just happens. Socks are easier than life because when they get funky, you can just toss them in the wash and start fresh. And the best part of it is if the sock is inside out, it just takes a simple turn and everything is right again.
My mind was going astray this past week when I was making dinner too. (Socks to dinner…I think I may need to work on some more appetizing transitions.) I wanted to make a lasagna but it is garden season so I have a plethora of fresh veggies in my house.
I bet your first thought would be “Oh, make a vegetable lasagna.” It is a great thought BUT vegetable lasagnas always seem to get watery and don’t ever taste right to me. (If I had made a sock puppet out of a lone sock that lost his mate, he’d be shaking his head Noooooo right now.)
I’ve tried all the hints in the past of how to make them “perfect” but each time I take that first bite and I’m filled with disappointment. It does taste lighter but it isn’t “lasagna tasting”, it tastes more like vegetable soup. (And I’m not a huge fan of vegetable soup….every bite tastes the same.)
So while I was doing the laundry the other day, I was inside outing some socks and thought “Hey…why don’t I make something “like” a lasagna but make it a little more with the filling on the outside.” (At the time I had this epiphany, there was a sock on my hand and it may or may not have started to talk to me about dinner….there were no witnesses so I’m not sure if this really happened or not.)
I got upstairs and started to prep all the ingredients I would need for a “regular” lasagna. I cooked my noodles, grated my cheese and mixed up a really good ricotta/goat cheese filling. I also chopped a bunch of summer veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, onion) and roasted them until they were just soft.
I swirled some homemade Bolognese on the bottom of the pan and made my first layer all vegetables. I ALMOST started to just layer it like a basic lasagna and I stopped in my tracks. (Actually, the timer for the dryer went off and I got distracted for a moment folding socks.)
When I got back to work in the kitchen, I decided that this was the place to really make the change. Yes, I was going to stop wearing socks….no wait…that isn’t where I was going.
This vegetable lasagna will be different, maybe it technically isn’t a lasagna at all! I was going to take my lasagna sheets and just swipe them with my ricotta mixture and roll them up. I placed them edge side up in the pan and drizzled some more sauce over the top. A little extra mozzarella and some dollops of the remaining ricotta and it was set to go in the oven.
Ding. I scooped out a piece and it was just what I have always wanted in a vegetable lasagna. It was super light but satisfying. The noodles weren’t watery and the cheese was still gooey. The best part is that the vegetable flavor didn’t get all muddled up or lost.
The thing was it was not a lasagna. It was all inside out. It made me think that I guess when life goes inside-out on you, your best bet is to figure out how to make it right instead of leaving it feeling wrong.
- 9 lasagna noodles, cooked per directions on package
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese
- 5 ounces goat cheese
- 10 ounces of spinach
- handful of fresh basil
- 1 shallot
- 4 ounces prosciutto
- 3-4 cups favorite summer veggies roasted until just tender but not soft (I did 2 pans at 375 for 15-20 minutes)
- 3-4 cups bolognese sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- Oven 375
- Smear the bottom of baking dish with a couple of spoonfuls of sauce.
- Top with cooked vegetables.
- In a food processor, twirl garlic and shallot.
- Add in the ricotta, goat cheese, spinach and basil.
- Lay the lasagna sheets on a cutting board. (You may need to this 3 separate times.)
- Spread a generous spoonful of the cheese mixture down each noodle.
- You want to reserve about a half cup of the mixture for the top of the dish.
- Roll up and place in pan seam side down. Repeat until you fill up your pan. The rolls should be touching but not jammed in there.
- Drizzle a little more sauce over the top of each one and add a little dollop of the ricotta mixture.
- Cover with foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes covered 10-15 uncovered.
- Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Scoop up each roll with some veggies and serve with any remaining sauce you have left.