Meaty Vegetable Lasagna

  • 2 zucchini sliced longways 
  • 6 oz oil cured black olives, pits removed & chopped ( approx. 2/3 cup)
  • 8 oz white button or baby portabella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 6 Barilla oven ready lasagna sheets
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes ( I had about 8 oz unused at the end)
  • 1/4 cup Italian red wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves or italian parsley chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic diced 
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • olive oil for pan
  • softened butter

Preheat oven to 375º F.  Butter baking dishes.  Ready sauce. Add crushed tomatoes, diced garlic, wine, rosemary, and salt to taste.  Let come to simmer, stirring occasionally.  Prepare vegetables. Slice zucchini longways in long thin uniform slices.  ( Tip:  I used my bread knife for this with wonderful results.) Salt zucchini, add olive oil to hot grill pan and sear zucchini strips slightly on both sides cooking until slightly tender. Remove and set aside.  To sauté pan add olive oil and butter and sauté mushrooms until golden brown stirring occasionally.  Mix 1 cup ricotta, 1/4 milk, 2/3 cup chopped oil cured olives, fresh herbs, and freshly ground pepper.  To bottom of buttered baking dish add a little of the sauce just to leave a thin coat.  Assemble lasagnas:  Place one noodle in each pan, Layer 1/4 of the ricotta mixture over each noodle, Followed by zucchini, Mozzarella cheese, and sauce.  Layer another noodle, last of ricotta divided between two mini lasagnas, followed by mushrooms divided evenly over each mini lasagna, mozzarella cheese, and sauce.  For the last layer: noodle, sauce, zucchini, and a generous topping of mozzarella cheese.  Add pea sized pieces of softened butter in various places over the top.  Place in oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden on the top. Enjoy with garlic bread, salad, and a glass of Italian red wine.       Eric Recommends: Villa Puccini 2008 Toscana