Prep for lasagna: Please use organic ingredients whenever possible.
I love that "prrt, prrt, prrt" sound the tomato sauce makes when it cooks!
My husband is a passionate amateur gardener and everything he touches turns to green. Lucky for me all the fruits of his labor are the highlight of all my culinary endeavors. However, regardless of passion, growing conditions dictate the type of yield and gardening in Denver can be quite challenging.Temperatures could fluctuate 50 degrees or more in a day and the soil here is highly alkaline and in most parts, heavy clay. This year especially we experienced a longer winter hence more snow with a resultant shorter growing period. This year is also the debut for our yellow tomatoes and I decided to include it in this dish.
The recipe: Makes one 7 inch round springform and a smaller 9 inch round pyrex.
Peel and slice 2 aubergines, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, pure pickle masala( or Hungarian sweet paprika), chopped fresh basil and oregano, and then bake for 20 mins at 375 degrees. This amount will only cover the base of the sprinform and the base of the pyrex.
Make a little x with a sharp knife in 8 red and 4 yellow tomatoes( I picked these from the garden) and soak in hot water for about 15 mins and then pull off the skins. You could skip this step if you prefer to do so ( I do not like tomato skins in the sauce) and then blend all the tomatoes. Meanwhile, saute' a small onion with about 10 cloves of pounded garlic in a little olive oil until caramelized, add the pureed tomatoes, little kosher salt, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon of organic sugar and cook for about 15min. Add a quarter cup of chopped oregano and basil and set aside to cool.
Mix 2 containers( 15oz ea.) of ricotta with a quarter cup of chopped basil and oregano, 3 beaten eggs, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes and set aside.
Sprinkle 3 chicken breasts( About 2 and a half pounds with skin on ) with kosher salt, garam masala, pure pickle masala or Hungarian sweet paprika, and chopped chives. Drizzle with olive oil and panko breadcrumbs and roast in the oven for about 35 mins. Remove, cool and then shred into pieces.
Lightly butter the springform pan and line the bottom with the baked aubergine and save the rest for the 9 inch pyrex. Completely cover the aubergine layer with a layer of won tons and then cover this layer with some of the ricotta mixture, sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan, cover with another layer of won tons, and then a layer of shredded chicken , spread a layer of the tomato sauce directly over the chicken and repeat the whole process. Try to end with a layer of ricotta and sprinkle with parmesan. You can prepare the 9inch pyrex with the leftover ingredients. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 -50 mins until golden. Cool for about 5 mins and then remove the ring. I decorated the sides with mozzarella and sweet milk cheese cut with a small square cookie cutter and then just put it back in the warm oven for 10 mins. The residual heat melted the cheese around the circumference just a little.
Feedback from my family: We never want to go back to the regular old lasagna ever again! I must concur each and every bite of this lasagna was surprisingly light, creamy and savory. The tomato sauce had a very 'fresh' taste ( fresh and juicy from the garden taste) and just think of all that lycopene! What is a body to do?
Lasagna made with won tons and little antioxidant jewels from the garden is a grrrrrreat thing!
This is my entry for Andrea's Grow Your Own ( Bi-monthly blogging ) event. She encourages you to commit to a garden and later enjoy the fruits of your labor.