Every gardener has her favorites. I can not resist anything that has a variegated leaf, including my herbs! Variegated oregano grows in a lovely clump and comes back every year, a little bigger. Some herbs are so invasive that you have to grow them in a container to ensure they do not take over your garden. I love mint but, I pot it up in a big container every spring so that I can keep it under control. Not so with oregano. I have both Greek and variegated oregano in my garden and I use it all summer long in soups, salads, vinaigrettes and marinades. In the fall, I harvest and dry it for winter use
Oregano is rarely used in Italy. Basil and Italian parsley are the herbs of choice when it comes to making lasagne. However, fresh oregano with tomatoes and vegetables taste spectacular. In fact, I have used most of my garden herbs with all sorts of combinations of vegetables when making lasagne and have been delighted with the results. Not to worry if you can not find variegated oregano, as long it is fresh oregano you are good to go!
Vegetable Lasagne with Variegated Oregano and Hand Crushed Tomatoes
preheat oven 350*F
1/2 red onion, peeled and cut in 1/2 ” slices
6 large white mushrooms, sliced thick
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced thick
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup olive oil
Place prepared veggies in a shallow baking dish and drizzle with olive oil.
Place dish in oven and roast veggies for 1/2 hour…you are simply softening the vegetables
Remove from oven and set aside until you are ready to use.
To make the sauce:
1 – 28 ounce can of imported peeled plum tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoon olive oil
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat – when oil is warm add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
Hand crush the plum tomatoes one at a time – dropping into the hot skillet until the can is empty – add juice from tomatoes as well
Bring sauce to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Turn heat off.
Hand crushing the plum tomatoes leaves your sauce with lovely hunks of tomato, providing additional texture and interest to the dish. I often use this technique when local tomatoes are in abundance but, it works just as well with good quality imported plum tomatoes
To assemble the lasagne:
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup oregano, chopped
Grease an 8″ square baking dish.
Spoon enough sauce into the base of the baking dish to thinly cover.
Layer the sauce with lasagne noodles – I used commercial fresh pasta so there was no need to pre-boil
Place half of the veggies on pasta layer, sprinkle with half of the chopped oregano, spoon half of the sauce over the vegetables and herbs and scatter with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
Repeat process finishing with the remaining mozzarella.
Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Allow lasagne to cool on counter for 10 minutes before serving.
Thanks for reading.