This was the first recipe I made from a cookbook while camping. I was SO EXCITED! Before we started our trip, I bought and read the Dirty Gourmet cookbook front to back. I couldn’t wait to make a recipe from it. Everything looked so interesting and delicious. I can tell the authors (Aimee Trudeau, Emily Nielson, and Mai-Yan Kwan) are really passionate about camping and cooking.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium zucchini, diced (The grocery was out of zucchini so I used 1/2 bunch of thin asparagus instead)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I forgot to add this and the recipe was still delicious)
- 6 cups marinara sauce
- 8 oz lasagna noodles
- 6 oz baby spinach (I bought regular size and it was still ok. Halfway through building my layers, I realized I probably should have cut my stems off though)
- 8 oz ricotta
- In addition to the above veggies, I also used: 1/2 medium yellow onion (diced) and 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
We are now boondocking in the South Dakota Badlands which is amazing, but also HOT because it’s early September. Even though the temperature was in the 80s/90s, I already bought the ingredients to make the recipe so I decided to go for it. I knew by the time I served, the sun would be down and a whole lot cooler.
I set up my outside kitchen to cook at because remember it’s 85 degrees and I didn’t want to make our camper hotter. This set up basically consists of a collapsible table, an induction stovetop, and some indoor items brought outside. Also, more importantly, paper towels because I’m a hot mess sometimes. The only thing I cooked inside was I boiled the asparagus for 40 seconds so they wouldn’t be too chewy in the dish.
Saute veggies with olive oil in the skillet for 5 minutes then remove from skillet and set aside.
Then, begin stacking your lasagna in your skillet. First, marinara sauce (1.5 cups). Then, lasagna noodles (1/3). Then, sauted veggies (1/3). Then, spinach (1/3). Then, ricotta dollops (1/3). Repeat 2 times. For the last layer, use pasta, marinara, and ricotta.
Once the lasagna is built, cover the skillet. The authors recommend cooking it on low heat for 20 mins. My husband was anxious about this instruction because he felt it wouldn’t cook in time. He convinced me to dial up the heat to medium. I did and checked it at 10 mins, it seemed to be doing okay. Eventually though, I did lower the heat and cooked it for an additional 10-15 mins. You know it’s done when you stick a fork in it and the noodles are soft. If the noodles are still hard, cover it back up and let it cook for a few more minutes.
NOTE: I’d recommend not listening to your husband on this one, and instead, listening to the authors who like you know created the dish. My bottom noodles did get burnt and I think it was because of the initial higher heat. The lasagna was still amazing and thank baby Jesus the burnt noodles didn’t ruin the dish. I basically just served the lasagna pieces without the bottom layer noodle. No biggie. Next time I’ll probably just cook it on low heat, check the noodles in 20 mins. If they are still firm, I would then cover it back up and continue to let it cook.
Once done cooking, remove the dish from the heat and set aside. Let sit for 5 minutes while still covered. (NOTE: Mine did look watery, but once I let it sit off the heat, the dish solidified.)
The lasagna was a big success!! Matt had three huge pieces in one sitting. The best part is that it makes enough so we have some leftovers that we can put in our RV fridge for future meals.
Check out the Dirty Gourmet Blog for more recipes or even consider buying their book!
If you want to follow along in real time as I make my recipes, you can watch me on my Instagram stories @thehungrycamper.