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Summer Veggie Lasagna, Arugula Hummus and Sugo Fresco

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Summer Veggie Lasagna

Zucchini and eggplant take the place of pasta in this delicious gluten free summery fresh lasagna ...goes great with a chilled Rose’.

1/4 cup Queen Creek Olive Mill Balanced Extra Virgin Olive Oil (more for the prep of the baking dish)
3/4 cup chopped onion 
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper 
1/4 cup finely chopped carrots 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce 
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 teaspoon fresh oregano chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 10-12 fresh basil leaves chopped
salt and pepper to taste 
pinch of red chili flakes
3 medium zucchinis, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. 
1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick strips
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese 
1 egg, beaten 
3/4 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese 
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly brush a medium baking dish with oil.
Add the oil to a skillet over medium heat.  Mix the onion, red bell pepper, carrots, garlic and pine nuts and sauté for 5 minutes. 
Add the tomato sauce into the skillet. Season with oregano, basil, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
In the bottom of the prepared baking dish, layer the zucchini strips. 
In a bowl, beat together the cottage cheese and egg, and spread over the zucchini. Scoop 1/2 veggie mixture over the cottage cheese and egg mixture, and sprinkle with 1/2 the mozzarella cheese. 
Layer with the eggplant, veggie mixture, and mozzarella. Top with Parmesan cheese.
Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow to sit 10 minutes before slicing to serve.


Arugula Hummus

Spicy arugula paired with Robust Olive Oil is a delicious Italian twist to this hummus. Excellent as a vegetable dip or in your favorite sandwich.

1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained 
1/4 cup packed arugula 
1/4 cup tahini 
1/4 cup lemon juice 
2 cloves garlic 
3 tablespoons Queen Creek Olive Mill Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
Salt and ground black pepper to taste 

Place cannellini beans, arugula, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor; pulse until garbanzo beans are chopped. Slowly drizzle olive oil into garbanzo bean mixture while blending until mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.


Sugo Fresco (Fresh Tomato Sauce)
When I grew up my mother would make this simple fresh tomato sauce with tomatoes from my father’s garden. I couldn’t wait for tomato season. Use this in a pasta, on bruschetta, on grilled vegetables or meat.
Makes enough for about 1 ½ cups 
3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1/3 cup Queen Creek Olive Mill Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil
20 – 25 cherry tomatoes quartered or 7-8 plum tomatoes cut into small cubes
5 large fresh basil leaves chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, basil salt and pepper and cover.
Cook until the tomatoes begin to soften, about 10 minutes