So here’s how this one has gone….I pinned a recipe for Vegetable Lasagne, kept looking at it from time to time and this weekend (several months later) finally decided to spend the needed time in the kitchen to make it. Sometimes the number of steps in a recipe can be a bit intimidating, but once you break it down and actually go through the process it’s nothing too complicated, just time consuming. Yesterday it snowed pretty much all day (I think we ended up with about six inches of snow on the ground) so it was the perfect Saturday to do some cooking in the kitchen. I love, love… love traditional lasagne and have never ate some that’s better than what my Grandma makes! Don’t worry, I’ll share that recipe one day soon! It will always be my favorite version, but I must say this vegetable lasagne is quite good and I like the idea of changing up the usual from time to time! The main vegetables in this recipe are spinach, roasted red peppers and mushrooms. Next time, I plan to add more to that list so if you have ideas for added vegetables that would compliment the existing ones well, please share!
My best advice for making this with ease is to set up stations, pre-measure what you can and clean up as you go. Oh! and print out the recipe so you don’t have to keep waking up your computer and scrolling down the page! The instructions are broken down into different parts: the puree, ricotta cheese, the spinach, the sauce, the vegetables and the lasagne assembly. I certainly still had a messy kitchen by the end, but attempting to stay organized and a little ahead of that mess along the way helps significantly! I didn’t take any photos while I cooked this time, because I felt like I had enough on my plate and wanted to focus on the cooking; hopefully the instructions listed below will paint a clear picture for you! If you have questions for me, ask away 🙂 I’m going to write this recipe in a slightly different format by putting the ingredients and instructions together for each ‘piece of the puzzle’. Stay with me on this one and happy cooking!
Garden Style Lasagne
1. Basil Puree
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup spinach leaves
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese (or Parmesan), grated
- Pepper, to taste
- In a food processor or blender, combine the basil, spinach, garlic and olive oil until a thick paste forms.
- Add the cheese and pepper and stir to mix well. Set aside.
2. Ricotta Cheese Mix
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1/2 of 1 large egg (1/8 cup of whisked egg)
- Pepper, to taste
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg and pepper.
- Mix well and set aside (I placed mine in the refrigerator until I needed it again)
3. Blanch the Spinach
- 1 large bag spinach
- In a large pot, bring 8 cups water to a boil. Add the spinach and stir until it becomes bright green, about 1 minute.
- Immediately plunge the spinach into a separate bowl of cold water to stop it from cooking.
- Drain, pat dry and set aside.
4. The Sauce
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups milk
- Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and flour and toss to coat. Stir constantly for about one minute.
- Gradually add the milk and stir to mix well and blend any bits of flour mixture. Increase heat to medium high, stir occasionally and cook until thickened, 7-10 minutes.
- Transfer the sauce to a separate bowl and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, add the basil puree to the sauce and mix well.
5. The Vegetables
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bella)
- 1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
- 1 bag spinach (from 3. Blanch the Spinach)
- Pepper, to taste
- Return your saute pan to the stove top and heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
- Transfer mushrooms to an unused mixing bowl. Add peppers, spinach and pepper to the mushrooms and stir gently to mix.
6. Lasagne Assembly (Home Stretch!)
- 9 ounces no boil lasagne noodles
- 4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Ricotta cheese mixture
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced (for garnish)
- preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish, place 1/2 cup of sauce on bottom of dish. Add a layer of noodles, top with 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese mixture, 1 cup of vegetables, 1/2 cup of sauce and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
- Repeat this two more times: noodles, ricotta cheese, vegetables, sauce, mozzarella cheese.
- Add final layer of noodles and pour remaining sauce over the lasagne. Sprinkle with final cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh basil slices and serve.
As always, thanks for reading!