Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Recipes: Lasagna Verde

I'm not going to lie. This started out as a pantry dish. I had a bunch of things and just arranged them into something which tastes freaking amazing. I had been thinking about making lasagna for awhile so I had lasagna noodles and ricotta on-hand. I didn't have a homemade red sauce, and I was feeling a little too lazy to go through the whole process of making a red sauce from scratch. Some left over pesto, various tasty cheeses.

My only regret is not having my light box. A light box is a small box which uses a powerful light and various reflective and diffusion screens to create different lighting conditions to take pictures of small things, food in this case. I've been house sitting for my parents and taking care of their cats since they are on a road trip. I built it the day before I moved over here and it's really a huge pain in the ass to move, so you all get another month of grainy poorly lit pictures.


Oh well, as they say on the Internets No ragrets.

Thus is born my version of the Lasagna Verde: pesto, Mexican chorizo, goat cheese, and awesomeness. The goat cheese is a cheese curd that I found at Woodman's, good flavor and I use it on my favorite pizza, The Nutty Vegetarian as well.

32 oz. of ricotta (1 qt. container)
2 large eggs
8 oz. of goat cheese curds (good luck finding them!) a mixture of Mozzarella and feta would work
1-1.5 cups of pre-made Pesto
1/2 a pound of dry Lasagna noodles (9"-11" pan fits three cooked noodles per layer so 9 noodles)
1 pound of fresh Mexican Chorizo (not dried Spanish Chorizo, there is a big difference)
4-6 heads of Baby Bok Choy sliced into 1' squares- Spinach would work well here too.
Cheddar and Parmesan for the topping

Brown the Chorizo, then sweat the Bok Choy in the pan with the chorizo for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.

Mix the Ricotta with the two eggs well until the eggs are incorporated

I put a good sized dollop of pesto at the bottom of the lasagna pan to make sure the bottom layer wouldn't stick. The oil in the pesto should keep it well lubricated in the oven.

Next I added a layer of noodles and a layer of ricotta. I used a fork to even out the ricotta.

I added a layer of pesto on top of the ricotta.

The final part of the layer is half of the chorizo and bok choy mixture. 1/3 of goat cheese curds also get mixed in at this point.

Then you add another layer of 3 noodles on top and we repeat the ricotta, pesto, chorizo + Choy, and goat cheese. The top layer consists of lasagna noodled then more ricotta, pesto, cheddar and parmesan.

Bake for 25 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

The pesto throughout gives it a nice green flavor. The bok choi adds the moisture and texture that the ricotta needs. The spicy chorizo adds a great kick to the whole thing. I really love the flavor of caramelized cheddar when it makes a little crunch on top. I will make my own lasagna noodles the next time I make lasagna, but that will have to be another post!


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