Easy Summer Squash Lasagna

I love lasagna. I mean, who doesn’t? Pasta smothered in cheesy goodness, with more cheese goodness on top and oh yeah, maybe some vegetables in between. When I’ve made lasagna in the past, it is usually an all afternoon process, in which I seem to dirty every pan and bowl in my house. Sometimes it’s fun to spend a lot of time putting a dish together, it’s never fun doing all the dishes afterwards.

The moral of this story is to always trust your first instinct! I was going to make this exact dish last week, but decided to use the same components, save for having the white beans whole rather than puréed, but went against my better Lasagna, summer squashinstinct and made it with linguine instead. While the flavors were good, it was so liquid-y I knew it would be better in lasagna form. And not to toot my own horn, but this turned our really well (toot toot!). When I was telling people I put the vegetables and noodles in the pan raw, allowing the liquid from the vegetables to cook the noodles, I was told that apparently this is already a thing. I thought I was pretty smart, because it worked perfectly. And skipping the vegetable and noodle prep means this took 30 minutes from first chop to oven!

I realize it’s not exactly lasagna weather, but who doesn’t love summer squash?!

Ricotta mixture:

  • 15 oz. part skim Ricotta cheese
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil

Vegetables:

  • 2 large (or 3 small) yellow crookneck squash
  • 5 small (or 3 large) zucchini
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped oregano

White Bean Mixture:

  • 2 15 oz. cans cannellini beans
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

12 lasagna noodles, uncooked

1/2 cup grated mozarella cheese

Use the slicer attachment of a food processor to make 1/4” slices of both types of squash. Add squash to a large bowl with chopped oregano and mix well.

Purée the white beans, lemon juice and zest and salt in the food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil until you have a hummus-like consistency. Set aside.

Add the ricotta, mozzarella, eggs and fresh basil to a small bowl and use a fork to combine. Set aside.

Spread about 1 cup of white bean mixture in the bottom of a 9” x 13” baking dish. Cover with 4 lasagna noodles, 3 lengthwise in the pan, and 1 perpendicular to those three. Top with about 1/3 of your ricotta mixture, then about 1/4 of the vegetables. Don’t worry about the vegetables overlapping, just make sure the layer is roughly even. Cover the vegetables with 1/3 of the remaining white bean mixture, and top with another 4 lasagna noodles. Repeat the layering of ricotta, vegetables and white bean mixture until you have used all the lasagna noodles. Cover the last layer of lasagna noodles with the remaining 1/4 of the sliced vegetables. Cover the top layer of vegetables with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese.

Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the noodles pierce easily with a fork. Remove the foil, and allow the cheese to slightly brown, about 10 minutes.

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Blackberry Almond Cake

I’m back!! Miguel and I were on stay-cation last week. My stay-cation consisted of filling 12Blackberry, Almond cake contractor bags with the old plants that had consumed our patio and made it completely unusable, removing flagstones older than myself and then moving in 1800 lb. of gravel and 5 bags of planting soil. Oh, and Miguel rebuilt the fence. So relaxing! Needless to say, after days of hard labor, neither of us wanted to labor over a stove for even 5 seconds. Three things cure all that ails you after a long day: cocktails, cured meat products, and take out.

But I’m back in the kitchen this week. A couple recipes that I had hoped to post here need a bit more refinement, but this one made the grade. I guess third times the charm. There is a slight irony that I even made a cake after our vacation-like eating habits last week, but the berries at Whole Foods were crying out to be baked in to a cake. Frankly, I’m shocked this cake even emerged from the oven not burnt to a crisp with this little puppy running around. Hugo is adorable but I swear everything takes me twice as long when he’s awake. Now I understand when parents say they can only get anything done when their kid is asleep! Not that a puppy and a human child are equivalent, but you know what I’m saying.  I hope you enjoy this summer-y berry dessert.

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 cups almond meal
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Juice (about 1/4 c.) and zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz. Greek yogurt
  • 9 oz. blackberries

Preheat the oven to 350˚. Coat a 9” round baking pan thoroughly with non-stick cooking spray.

Add the whole wheat flour, almond meal, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder to a small bowl. Stir well to combine.

Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, yogurt and vanilla extract together in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and use a whisk to combine thoroughly.

Rinse and dry your whole blackberries and toss in 1 tbsp of whole wheat flower. This will prevent the blackberries from discoloring your cake. Fold in gently with a spatula. Spread the batter evenly in your baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake has only a few dry crumbs attached. (Truth be told, I’m not exactly sure how long my cake cooked. When I’m chasing after that dog, something strange happens to the time-space continuum.)

Cool the cake in the pan for about 10 minutes then flip on to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Serve as-is, with fresh berries or whipped cream.