Allow me to introduce you to my mom’s cherished recipe – a delightful creation that holds a special place in my heart. She would prepare it with love, not only because it’s a delicious way to incorporate vegetables but also because it has a magical ability to transform our childhood aversions. Back then, for some reason, we kids couldn’t quite appreciate vegetables. It’s a mystery that lingers even now.
She playfully called this creation “pizza” and I, as any discerning child, would playfully retort, “Mom, that’s not pizza, I’m not a child anymore!” Her response was always the same: “Close your eyes, take a bite, and tell me if it tastes like pizza.” And, of course, she was right. I’m not saying it’s the same as a classic pizza, so no need to panic. But it’s remarkably close, and my mom’s culinary prowess made it all the more special.
This recipe holds a special place in my heart, bringing me back to the comforting moments of my childhood. Whenever I find myself missing her, I head to the kitchen and recreate this dish. As the aromas fill the house, it’s as if she’s right here with me. I do my best to follow her recipe to the letter, and while it may never be exactly the same as my mom’s, it’s the closest I can get – a taste of home and comfort.
So, let’s get started on making this heartwarming dish!
For the Filling
- 3 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 large potato
- 2 eggplants thinly sliced
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 sliced carrot
- 1/2 cup of corn kernels
- 1/2 cup of garden peas
- 1/2 cup of cream cheese
- 1 cup of grated melting cheese (such as mozzarella or cheddar)
- Olive oil - Salt and pepper - Oregano
1 pack of lasagna sheets
For the Topping
Additional grated melting cheese (to taste)
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a large pot, combine the vegetable stock with all the vegetables: sliced potatoes, eggplant rounds, zucchini slices, finely grated carrot, corn kernels, and garden peas. Bring the pot to a boil and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Before draining the pot, be sure to reserve a cup of the cooking water. This flavorful liquid will come in handy later. Drain the vegetables, then mash them until you achieve a creamy consistency.
- In the same pot, add the mashed vegetables and mix in the cream cheese and grated melting cheese. Drizzle with olive oil, and season generously with salt, pepper, and oregano. Ensure that the mixture reaches a creamy texture; if needed, add the reserved cup of vegetable stock to achieve the desired consistency.
In a deep baking dish, begin layering your lasagna:
- Start with a thin layer of vegetable stock at the bottom.
- Add a layer of lasagna sheets.
- Follow with a layer of the creamy vegetable mixture.
- Repeat these layers until you’ve used up all your ingredients, finishing with a layer of lasagna sheets.
- Top the lasagna with an extra sprinkle of grated melting cheese for a delicious cheesy crust.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the lasagna is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving.
As you can see in the ingredients, it contains relatively less cheese, making it a super light dish that you can enjoy to your heart’s content. There’s no specific serving size mentioned because you can simply eat as much as your body and soul desire.
You have the flexibility to make this dish with gluten-free lasagna sheets and incorporate vegan cheeses if you prefer. I’ve tried it, and it delivers the same delicious results.