One thing my husband loves to do, is dip crusty bits of bread into a simmering pot of homemade pasta sauce. It never fails, that when I whip up a batch of my tomato basil sauce or homemade marinara, I can find him standing over the stove, bread in hand, dipping each bite into the sauce. I have to say, I enjoy this too! Not too much beats warm tomato sauce and fresh bread!
I was thinking about this the other day…how if I could, I’d just dip an entire loaf of bread into tomato sauce as a meal. I don’t really need anything else! Sauce and bread. That’s it! Well…maybe with some mozzarella cheese too. Yes…I dare say a combo of mozzarella, warmed tomato sauce and bread is all I need to be happy!
So out came the idea for this Beggars Lasagna. Basically, it’s day old bread, layered with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and sliced veggies. The veggies are there solely to make this a more realistic dish. Something I can actually claim as a legitimate meal. As long as it has a vegetable or two, I feel a lot better about eating copious slices of bread baked with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese.
This is the perfect dish if you don’t have or feel like cooking lasagna noodles, have no ricotta cheese on hand and have a loaf of bread you totally forgot was hanging out in the pantry. Just layer everything up in a baking dish and stick it right in the oven! The best part is you don’t have the cook the vegetables in advance. Like my Roasted Vegetable Lasagna, most vegetables have the tendencies to make baked dishes watery. However, all those delicious vegetable juices are absorbed into the bread. No watery mess, just softened flavorful bread, veggies and cheese!
- 10-12 slices whole grain bread – day old (or dry out in a 350 F oven for a few minutes)
- 1 jar favorite tomato sauce
- 8 oz shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
- 1 small eggplant, sliced in 1/4″ slices
- 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4″ slices
- 1 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into 1/4″ slices
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven 375 F.
- Spread about 1/4 cup tomato sauce in the bottom of an 8×8 baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with the dry/day old bread slices – you may need to tear some apart to fill in the gaps.
- Spread another 1/4 cup tomato sauce on top of the bread. Top with 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.
- Layer on sliced eggplant in one layer followed by another lay of zucchini and yellow squash. Top vegetables with more tomato sauce and about 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
- Repeat with another layer of bread topped with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. Add a final layer of eggplant followed by zucchini and yellow squash. Sprinkle on remaining salt, pepper, more tomato sauce and a lot of mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 40 minutes covered. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and melted!