Sunday, February 28, 2010

Vegetable Lasagne


I don't remember the last time I made a traditional meat & tomato sauce lasagne. Not that I don't like it, but I love this variation with spinach & carrots even more. I usually make this in a 9" x 9" casserole (more on that below), which means you have to trim the noodles to fit the pan and the layers are quite thick. Alternately you could use a 9" x 13" pan, which would result in thinner layers. Depending on how much crunch you like, you may want to parboil the carrots for a minute or two. I often add them to the spinach towards the end of it's cooking time, and then you can just drain all the veggies together before adding them to the rest of the filling.

Miscellaneous question: why do lasagne noodles always shred when you boil them??

9 cooked lasagne noodles

filling
2+1/2 cups ricotta
1 cup shredded mozzarella and/or fontina cheese (I used an Italian cheese blend this time)
1 cup diced carrot
1 package frozen spinach, cooked & well-drained
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 large onion, finely diced (use 1/2 for filling, 1/2 for sauce)

Mix all ingredients and season with salt & pepper. Spread one layer of noodles in a 9" x 9" or 9" x 13" pan and top with half the filling. Top with layer of noodles, other half of filling, and final layer of noodles. Go to sauce directions...

sauce
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup ricotta

Sauté remaining onions in the oil until soft. Add flour and cook for a minute, then whisk in broth and remaining ricotta. Bring to a boil and simmer until it thickens slightly (shouldn't take long). Season with salt & pepper, if necessary. Pour sauce over the lasagne layers. Sprinkle with additional mozzarella if desired. Cook at 375° for 30-45 minutes, until bubbly around the edges and top is lightly browned.
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Below is a favorite casserole that my mother made. Unfortunately, after years of service it has developed this scary crack down the middle. Every time I use it I'm afraid it may be the last. But it held up this time!



7 comments:

  1. Yum! I don't know why lasagna noodles shred. I was on a lasagna rampage last winter and stopped pre-boiling them. They always turned out perfectly.

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  2. And that casserole is beautiful...the crack is sad.

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  3. Do you use those no-boil noodles? I tried those years ago and didn't love the results, but can't remember why...

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  4. No, it works with regular lasagna noodles.

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  5. I love that this veggie lasagna recipe doesn't call for a heavy cream sauce. It's perfect for cool Spring evenings!

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  6. Yes, I meant to comment more on the sauce...it is heavenly! And all from just a half cup of ricotta!

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  7. The no-boil lasagna noodles work great. Seriously, I can't tell the difference. Generally you want a little more liquid in your sauce becasue they absorb some, but otherwise they are awesome. I haven't boiled a lasagna noodle in years...

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