Italian Veggie Bake

I must admit, this "recipe" was an attempt to use up some ingredients left in our fridge. From the "Bet it All on Black Garlic" burger we made the other night, we had some leftover baby spinach and fresh mozzarella.  I would've been content to make a spinach salad, but hubby gets "spinach teeth" so I thought I'd be nice and cook it.  I also had some zucchini crying for help, so I threw together the bastard vegetarian child of ratatouille and lasagna.

I sauteed onions in some garlic-infused olive oil before deglazing the pan with some dry vermouth.  I also added a splash of balsamic vinegar, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and dried oregano and basil.

Using my mandoline slicer, I sliced the zucchini pretty thin and steamed them in the microwave to soften.  I put the baby spinach in a big mixing bowl and then dumped the steaming hot zucchini on top to make the spinach wilt.

I added some ground flaxseed for texture and some basil paste for a bit more flavor.  I mixed this together pretty well before pouring my tomato sauce on top and thoroughly mixing the whole thing.  I poured it into a greased dish and baked it in a hot oven (375 or 400) for 5-10 minutes at a time until it was bubbly and looked like it was starting to brown and thicken (maybe 25-30 min total).

Once I felt it was getting close, I dotted the top with torn chunks of fresh mozzarella and put the dish under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese got brown and bubbly.

I served the casserole? veggie bake? dish...thingy... alongside some chicken sausage I sauteed in a pan for some texture and color, and I'm getting 2 more meals out of that one recipe for the both of us!  Definitely a repeat throw-together-dish!