I came across this recipe in one of my cookbooks while I was looking for new dishes to try. It didn't appeal to me at all. But the fact that we still have potatoes from our garden to use, Jamey really likes potatoes and I had all the ingredients on hand guilt-ed me into adding it to my 'recipes to try' list.
I'm not a huge fan of potatoes. I am a huge fan of lasagna which is why I did not think this could be very good. Even as I was making it, I was sure it was going to be ho-hum. I used stewed tomatoes instead of fresh ones (Our tomatoes lasted into December, but has anyone's lasted until now?) and I used a combination of cheddar and Swiss cheese instead of all cheddar.
Now, I'm a sucker for recipes that make my house smell good and this one did just that. It was almost as if it was begging me to give it a chance, to keep an open mind. But, still I was a pessimist. When I pulled it from the oven and saw all the melted cheese and bubbly sauce, I think it was it's way of trying to woo me once again. I stood firm. I'm stubborn.
But, you know what? Whether it was the wooing or the taste alone, this recipe won me over. I actually enjoyed eating it. I had seconds. The kids liked it. Jamey liked it. And I'll fess-up here and admit it.
I really liked it.
This recipe looks complicated, but it's not. You do make your own sauce, but it's simple and the potatoes require very little prep.
Potato Lasagna (adapted slightly from Cooking Light Annual Recipes, 2002)
I scrubbed my baking potatoes well and left the skins on.
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 1/2 cups chopped tomato (or 1 pint stewed tomatoes, drained and chopped)
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
14 1/2 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. black pepper
3 cups thinly sliced baking potato (about 3 large)
1 1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet potato (about 1 large)
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
To prepare sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Saute until tender. Add tomato and remaining sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
To prepare potatoes, combine the salt, dried basil and pepper in a large bowl. Add sliced potatoes and toss well. Set aside. In a smaller bowl, combine the shredded cheeses. Set that bowl aside, too.
To assemble, spray the bottom of an 11 x 7 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Lay about one third of the potato slices across the bottom. Top with about one cup of sauce and a 1/2 cup of the cheese mixture.
Repeat these layers two more times, ending with cheese on top. Cover tightly with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center potatoes glides in easily. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
The potatoes won this one, but they've got a lot of work to do if they ever want to hear me say, "I like potatoes." Go ahead, taters. Let's see what else you can do.