It’s kind of hard to avoid the Chat GPT thing at the moment. This week we decided to make a theme of it and use the bot to write recipes that I’d cook live on Twitch. All the hype aside it has got me doing a bit of thinking – do androids dream of dessert? With the experimenting I’ve done so far it seems to be pretty darn capable. It’s obviously going to make the Friday-night pantry raid recipes a lot easier. There are more possibilities though, and much more interesting ones. The cool thing is its comprehension of context, and not just during the immediate discussion. For example, we asked it to give us a pasta recipe from a time before refrigeration technology. It gave us spaghetti al aglio. Nice.

It’s all well and good to see what it spits out, and for the simpler meals it should be pretty obvious that a recipe is going to work or not, but the hype is just that unless this food is tested by humans. So, last night we tried its vegetable lasagne and marinara sauce recipes without altering a single thing, ingredient, method or otherwise. There were a few weird moments, but the bottom line is it worked well and tasted very good. The recipes follow and I will continue the research this week and post more as they’re generated.

Vegetarian Lasagne

• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cup sliced mushrooms
• 1 red bell pepper, chopped
• 1 sweet potato, chopped
• 1 zucchini, chopped
• 2 cups marinara sauce
• 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
• 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
• Salt and black pepper to taste
• 9 lasagne noodles
• 15 ounces ricotta cheese
• 1 large egg
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, bell pepper, squash, and zucchini to the skillet and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the marinara sauce, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.

Cook the lasagne noodles according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, egg, and Parmesan cheese.

Spread a thin layer of the vegetable mixture in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with 3 cooked lasagne noodles, spreading a layer of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Repeat the layers two more times, ending with a layer of vegetable mixture on top.

Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 15 minutes more.

Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Marinara Sauce

• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 2 teaspoons dried basil
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• Salt and black pepper, to taste
• 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. If the sauce is too acidic, add the sugar.

Serve the sauce immediately, or let it cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.