A Vote for Matzoh Lasagna
Although skeptical of the outcome, I was determined to find out how a lasagna made with matzoh instead of noodles would translate at the table. If I could pull this off, I thought, my days of annoying lasagna noodles that never seem to cook evenly would be a thing of the past. Plus, it just might work as a meatless Passover main -- and think of the unleavened lunch leftovers.
The source of my matzoh-ed inspiration is Miami chef Allen Susser, whose online recipe includes eggplant and zucchini. Ultimately, I decided to forego Susser's choice of summertime produce for something more seasonally appropriate and chose cool-weather crop arugula instead. (Spinach would be equally lovely, as would a ragout of spring mushrooms.) In fact, I was so taken by last month's arugula pesto I thought it would do my lasagna proud.
The short version of this story is that matzoh makes a delicious lasagna understudy. The caveat: All lasagna is time consuming and requires a steady hand for assembly. It's also important to remember that lasagna is one of those sum-of-its-parts dishes, and in order for it to avoid the land of bland, every component must be seasoned separately.
My biggest concern was that the "noodles" would transform into crackery mush, but the matzoh proved me wrong and instead mimicked the texture of properly cooked noodles. The whole package was lighter on the tongue (and the tummy) and I dare say, my exploratory mission was a success. Mister MA wants to know if he has to wait until next year for more, but there's no need. This is a lasagna for all seasons.
Recipe below the jump.
It's chat day; join me at noon ET for What's Cooking.
Today's Eco-Bite: Edible Communities is a consortium of 39 quarterly magazines (and counting) from Allegheny, Pa., to Vancouver, B.C., on locally-based eating, farming and shopping. It has become required reading for locavores. In your neck of the woods, the mag is gratis; to read what's Edible elsewhere, you must sign up and subscribe.
Approximately 2 bunches of arugula or spinach, thoroughly washed, stemmed and spun dry
3-5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1-3 tablespoons olive oil
Heat of chiles: 1/2 fresh red chile of choice, seeded, or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Note: This yields about 1 cup pesto, which is double the amount you'll need for one lasagna. The leftover pesto makes a great sandwich spread.
1/2 cup ricotta cheese, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
Approximately 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
12-16 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded
At least 2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce
8-10 matzoh boards (less than one box)
Prepare filling: Chop greens and reserve half. In a large skillet, heat garlic in olive oil for 15 seconds. Add half of the greens, toss with tongs to coat, cover and allow to wilt about two minutes.
Transfer wilted greens to the bowl of a food processor and puree. Add half of the reserved raw greens and blend to combine. Add nuts, if using, and blend until well integrated. Add chiles, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust accordingly. Add 1 tablespoon oil gradually so that pesto is somewhere between a sauce and a chutney. Scoop pesto out of food processor and measure out 1 cup of pesto to combine with ricotta cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Store remaining pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another use.
In a small saucepan, heat marinara sauce until warm. Season with salt, pepper and herbs, as necessary.
Prepare matzoh: Wet each matzoh under warm running water to moisten. Stack damp matzohs on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel.
Grease a 9x13 rectangular baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Assemble lasagna: Spoon enough marinara sauce on bottom of dish to cover surface. Place two matzoh boards in dish, side by side, so that they're snug. With a rubber spatula, spread half of the greens-ricotta filling on top of matzoh, covering the surface, and add one-fourth of the mozzarella and Parmigiano.
Create a new layer with two matzohs and this time, spoon marinara sauce so it covers surface, followed by more cheese.
For the next layer, add two matzohs and the remaining greens-ricotta filling, then top with both cheeses.
The top layer is two final pieces of matzoh, covered with marinara sauce and any remaining cheese.
Place dish in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. Cheese will begin to bubble. Remove from heat and allow to rest for a few minutes. Slice and eat immediately.
Makes 8-10 servings.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Spike | April 15, 2008 8:50 AM
Posted by: Laura | April 15, 2008 8:59 AM
Posted by: daetara | April 15, 2008 9:12 AM
Posted by: Shia | April 15, 2008 9:17 AM
Posted by: Kim O'Donnel | April 15, 2008 9:18 AM
Posted by: Kim O'Donnel | April 15, 2008 9:21 AM
Posted by: Amy | April 15, 2008 9:24 AM
Posted by: Allison | April 15, 2008 10:33 AM
Posted by: Mush | April 15, 2008 10:37 AM
Posted by: mollyjade | April 15, 2008 11:55 AM
Posted by: patricia | April 15, 2008 11:59 AM
Posted by: JBE | April 15, 2008 2:24 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 3:13 PM
Posted by: Fairlington Blade | April 15, 2008 3:23 PM
Posted by: patricia | April 15, 2008 4:04 PM
Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 15, 2008 5:28 PM
Posted by: rp | April 15, 2008 7:12 PM
Posted by: Please stop, in DC | April 16, 2008 7:07 AM
Posted by: mollyjade | April 16, 2008 9:30 AM
Posted by: T. Wilk | April 16, 2008 9:37 AM
Posted by: C | April 16, 2008 12:53 PM
Posted by: Lurker | April 16, 2008 4:54 PM
Posted by: Vienna | April 16, 2008 5:14 PM
Posted by: reston, va | April 16, 2008 10:03 PM
Posted by: Reine de Saba | April 16, 2008 11:19 PM
Posted by: Amy | April 17, 2008 9:05 AM
Posted by: Give Me a Break | April 17, 2008 10:52 AM
Posted by: va | April 17, 2008 1:33 PM
Posted by: Shia | April 17, 2008 8:21 PM
Posted by: Amanda | April 20, 2008 3:46 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.