Saturday, March 1, 2008

Grilled Vegetable Lasagna with Puttanesca Sauce and Pesto Oil

I'm back from my wonderful vacation/honeymoon and here we go again:)

This is a huge, time consuming, easy and very very tasty recipe from Emeril. But you can just use the idea and take shortcuts:)

You can buy the vegetables roasted at most Whole Foods, and you can definitely buy puttanesca sauce ready. But the oil makes this lasagna, so do prepare this yourself.

These cut the cooking time shorter, but of course doesn't taste as good as you have made it from scratch. But I usually don't like spending 3 hours in the kitchen unless it's a very special day. That's just me:)

If I'm making this from scratch, I do skip the anchovies because I don't like them, and it still comes out good.

You can prepare the recipe with the same amounts and cook in two batches. You can always freeze the second batch and throw it in the oven in the future.

GRILLED VEGETABLES LASAGNA WITH PUTTANESCA SAUCE AND PESTO OIL

Ingredients:
2 pounds ricotta
1 teaspoon salt
Pesto Oil, recipe follows
Puttanesca Sauce, recipe follows

1 1/4 pounds lasagna noodles
Grilled Vegetables, recipe follows

8 ounces mozzarella, coarsely grated

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl mix the ricotta cheese with salt and half a cup of Pesto Oil.

Lightly grease a large rectangular baking dish, then spoon 1/2 cup of Puttanesca Sauce onto the bottom of the dish. Cover with a layer of lasagna noodles. Top the lasagna with a layer of ricotta, then a layer of eggplant, zucchini, onion and red pepper, a layer of grated mozzarella, and a layer of puttanesca sauce.

Repeat layering the lasagna, ricotta, vegetables, mozzarella and sauce in this manner until all ingredients have been used, ending with mozzarella on top.

Bake until the lasagna is bubbling and golden brown, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving, drizzled with some of the remaining pesto oil.

PUTTANESCA SAUCE:

Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
6 cloves minced garlic
2 (28-ounce) cans Roma plum tomatoes, broken into pieces, with juice
1 cup tightly packed, pitted, chopped Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons (about 8) minced anchovy fillets
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed basil
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
Salt to taste

Directions:
In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and lightly caramelized, about 6 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients and simmer until the sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, about 40 minutes.

Adjust seasoning to taste, cover and set aside.

PESTO OIL

Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
In the bowl of a food processor or blender place the garlic and basil and process on high while adding the olive oil in a steady stream. Continue to process until well blended, season with salt to taste and set aside until ready to assemble lasagna.

GRILLED VEGETABLES

Ingredients:

4 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
4 red or yellow bell peppers, roasted, seeded and peeled
2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 large yellow onions, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
Light the grill or pre-heat the broiler.

In a large shallow bowl, toss the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper and onion with the oil and salt.
If using the broiler, arrange the vegetables in a single layer on 2 lightly greased or non-stick baking sheets. Grill or broil in batches, turning the vegetables once, until they are tender, lightly browned, and have released most of their moisture, about 5 to 6 minutes per side.

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