One of my go to dishes since moving to Oslo has been lasagna. Why? It’s super easy to make and you can often use what’s in your pantry or fridge. I like to get creative – trying new vegetables and cheeses. Meat occasionally makes an appearance but for some reason, a veggie and cheese lasagna wins my heart everytime.
Yesterday, I was visiting one of the green grocers in Oslo. Most of the green grocers offer lots of vegetables at a good price and a variety of ethnic products and imported goods. Each green grocer offers something different so its fun to check the neighborhood stores out. As such, I found some lovely zucchini. I wasn’t sure what I would make for dinner but as I began walking home, I decided it would be lasagna. I grabbed one container of cream cheese (ricotta works too – but, it is hard to come by here) and headed home. Now, to the lasagna… Recipe below 🙂
- Lasagna Sheets/Noodles (It is unnecessary to pre-cook these noodles before assembling)
- 1 jar of Tomato Sauce
- 1 Zucchini
- 125g of Cream Cheese
- 225g of Shredded Mozzarella
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (about 375 degrees Fahrenheit).
Now, slice the entire zucchini into extremely thin slices. I did this quickly with the use of a mandolin slicer. A really great tool and makes it easy for these situations.
Next, take a baking pan and drizzle a little oil into the bottom. (I used a 50cm x 50cm glass pan but you can use whatever you have in the house). Now, place one layer of lasagna sheets into the pan. They shouldn’t overlap (if you can avoid it).
Add tomato sauce on top of the lasagna sheets then a layer of the sliced zucchini. Since the zucchini is sliced so thin, you won’t have to worry about it being too tough or clumsy to slice.
Add another layer of noodles, sauce, and zucchini. Depending how deep your pan is, keep repeating these layers until you get mid-way into the pan.
Now, add the lasagna noodles and the cream cheese. Make sure to spread the cream cheese evenly … to the best of your ability. I like to add dollups around the noodles and then connect the dots.
Now, on top of the cream cheese, again add a layer of zucchini. Now, its time to repeat… add lasagna noodles, sauce and zucchini. Continue until you’ve reached the top of the pan. On the last layer, top with the shredded mozzarella. Add a bit of salt and pepper on top of the cheese (and some Italian seasonings, if you have it in your pantry).
Put into the oven for about 40 minutes or until you see the top nice and crispy and the sauce boiling in the bottom.
Let it cool for about 10-15 minutes then serve.
Is the zucchini required? Absolutely not but it did add a lovely flavor and dimension to our dinner. Honestly, you can use any vegetable or ground meat that you prefer. For example, you can substitute green peppers or cooked (and drained) ground sausage in place of the zucchini. Possibilities are endless.
All you need to do is remember to layer evenly and the rest is up to your creative noggin’!