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Monday, March 14, 2011

Four Cheese and Vegetable Lasagnioli

Lasagna is my favorite food hands down. I could eat it every day, in every way and never get bored. However, it is a little tedious and time consuming to make. Enter the Lasagnioli-  the grammatically incorrect, difficult to pronounce, totally made up but super easy to make Lasagna- using Ravioli! Ravioli is two layers of pasta with cheese in the middle so it's practically half of the Lasagna already made! The original idea for this concept I have to attribute to the annoyingly perky Rachel Ray who does come up with some great time saving ideas. I've made this a few times each time with different layers, sauces, and cheeses and each one is better than the next. What's my favorite version? With ricotta and spinach of course-but I am trying to lay off those two yummy ingredients for a little and give ya'll a break. For this version, a "Gourmet Lunch Wednesday" dish, I used four different cheeses each with its own great taste that came together in gooey harmony and some vegetables cooked in lots of garlic to give it some oomph and and beautiful color. I know Lasagna isn't traditionally baked in a round pan but hey, this is Lasagnioli and she makes her own rules so don't mess!

2 Packages cheese ravioli
3 cups Marinara Sauce
1 small eggplant, cubed
1 box mushrooms, sliced
1 medium zuchinni, cubed
4 Tbl olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup Mozzarella
1/4 cup Parmesan
1/4 cup Smoked Mozzarella (if you don't like the smokey taste then just substitute more Parmesan)
1/4 cup mild Cheddar
S, P, and garlic powder to taste

Cook the ravioli according to package instructions. In a small bowl mix the cheeses together and set aside.
In a pan, sautee the cubed zuchinni in olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add eggplant and minced garlic and saute a little longer. Add the mushrooms, season all with salt, pepper, and garlic powder until tender. Spread a little marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan you are using and lay half of the ravioli down. Top it with 11/2 cups of Marinara sauce and 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Add the cooked vegetables over the cheese and top with the next layer of ravioli. Cover with sauce and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 until the cheese is melted and browned.


A head shot of bubbling cheese:




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