Friday, August 5, 2011

Lasagna Pie

Despite being married for three years and making hundreds of meatless meals that were perfectly acceptable with only a few flops, Joe still gets a little nervous about vegetarian food. When a vegetarian restaurant opened in town and I mentioned that I wanted to go, he was not interested. Though he claims his resistance was not as strong as I claim, there were several other times when I suggested it as an option and was turned down. But when another friend of his wanted to go, we made a date that Friday to go with her. And Joe totally ate up his vegan queso and plantain tacos, leaving completely satisfied.

He also admitted that he was “nervous” about this lasagna pie. It doesn’t appear to be much: whole wheat crust, a ricotta mixture, zucchini and summer squash, and a tomato sauce. Not only was it surprisingly filling, but it was a great way to use up a whole bunch of my CSA veggies.

My crust was a little, um, rustic-looking. Elly also had some problems with it being soggy, which she attributed to not baking it without the pie weights. Mine was also a little soggy but that might’ve been because I pre-made the pie and let it sit in the fridge while I went to spin class. Either way, it wasn’t objectionable.


Lasagna Pie
Serves 4
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks as seen on Elly Says Opa


For the crust:
2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
~1/2 cup cold water

For the filling:
1 small to medium summer squash, thinly sliced
1 small to medium zucchini, thinly sliced
3 tbsp pesto
1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the tomato sauce:
2 tsp. olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 scant tsp. red pepper flakes
1 (14.5 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
~3 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. oregano
small pinch of sugar


To make the crust, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the flour and stir it in.  Slowly add the water to the dough and stir until it’s just absorbed. Add just enough water to form a dough. Knead a couple of times to get the dough to come together.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to the size you need. Transfer the rolled dough to your pie or tart pan, pressing it into the corners and up the sides without stretching the dough. Trim any excess dough. Place the crust in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375.  Prick the dough a few times with a fork and then line it with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes and then remove the parchment and weights and bake an additional 5. Place the crust on a rack to cool.

Reduce the oven to 350.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the shallots and cook until tender. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir until the garlic is fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.

Add the tomatoes and a little water. Season with the oregano, a small pinch of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Re-season, if necessary.

To make the filling, toss the sliced zucchini and squash with a little salt in a colander. Let it sit there to drain as you continue with the filling and sauce.

Combine the pesto with the ricotta cheese and beaten egg.

If the squash still has a bit of moisture, pat it with a kitchen or paper towel to dry.

Spread half the ricotta mixture over the bottom of the crust.  Place half the summer squash/zucchini in one layer over the cheese. Spoon half the tomato sauce over the squash.  Spread the remaining ricotta cheese mixture over the top,  then layer the remaining squash, and finally the rest of the tomato sauce.

Bake in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the parmesan and then continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.