Vegetable Lasagna (White)
My 9-year old daughter, who routinely turns up her nose to cooked carrots, spinach and zucchini DEVOURS this lasagna. And she really enjoyed helping me prepare it.
1 1/2 lblasagna noodles, cooked
20 ozfrozen spinach, thawed & very well drained
20 ozfrozen broccoli, thawed, drained & finely chopped
10 ozbaby portobella mushrooms, sliced
1 largered onion, finely diced
1 ccarrots, grated or finely chopped
2 mediumzucchini, grated
·olive oil for sauteeing
·sea salt, for sauteeing
RICOTTA CHEESE FILLING
2 cricotta cheese, part-skim
1 Tbspitalian seasoning
1 dash(es)sea salt
1 qtwhole milk
3/4 cparmesan cheese, grated
3/4 cromano cheese, grated
4 Tbspall purpose flour
1 Tbspminced garlic
1 dash(es)ground black pepper
1 pinchground nutmeg
1/2 tspsea salt
How to Make Vegetable Lasagna (White)
- This recipe fills a 13 1/2" x 9 5/8" x 2 3/4" foil lasagna tray (the deep kind). It produces 4 vegetable/cheese layers and 5 pasta layers. It slices beautifully if allowed to set 10-15 minutes before slicing.
TIP: If the vegetables are not pre-cooked, the lasagna will be runny. And SQUEEZE that spinach until it is dry!
TIP: Salt as you go. Vegetables, pasta and ricotta cheese are quite bland. A pinch here - a dash there. It really makes a difference in the finished product.
- Start the water to boil the noodles.
Make sure the pot is deep and that the water is well salted (at least 1 teaspoon per quart). Follow the pasta package cooking instructions. You can under cook the noodles by 1-2 minutes since they will continue cooking in the oven.
TIP: Once the noodles are drained, keep them in a bowl of cold water to prevent them from sticking together.
- Prepare the vegetable filling:
Add a small amount of oil to a 10-inch skillet and cook the sliced mushrooms (seasoned with a pinch of salt) until they are tender. Reserve them in a large mixing bowl.
Repeat the process with the onion, carrots and zucchini.
While sauteeing the raw vegetables, thaw/drain/chop the broccoli and spinach and add them to the bowl reserved for the vegetable mixture.
This will yield about 4 cups of vegetables.
- Prepare the Alfredo Sauce:
In a large 5-quart pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When it just starts to sizzle, add the flour and whisk well.
Let the roux (butter/flour mixture) cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly - but it should not start to brown.
Add the milk and whisk often until the sauce starts to bubble.
Add the garlic, parmesan and romano grated cheeses, black pepper and nutmeg - stirring until the sauce forms a homogenous mixture. Taste the sauce, and salt as needed - a pinch at time.
- Prepare the Ricotta Cheese filling:
Mix the ricotta & italian seasoning in medium mixing bowl. Taste and add salt if desired. Reserve for layering.
- Vegetables mixed and ready? Check.
Alfredo sauce is complete? Check.
Ricotta cheese filling done? Check.
Noodles are cooked and waiting in a bowl of water? Check.
Got the pan ready to go? Check.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
- It's finally time to start layering!
Scoop a ladle full of alfredo sauce onto the bottom of the baking pan and smear it all around.
Add noodles to cover the bottom of the pan - trim if needed and only slightly overlapping each other.
Take about a half cup of ricotta filling and smooth it evenly over the noodles.
Take about a cup of vegetable filling and distribute it evenly over the ricotta.
Add a layer of noodles.
Add a layer of alfredo.
Add a layer of ricotta (yes the pattern changes - but it makes the process easier).
Add a layer of vegetables.
Add a layer of noodles.
Alfredo. Ricotta. Vegetables. And so on.
There will be a final layer of noodles, over top which the remainder of the alfredo sauce will be poured.
- Cover the pan with foil.
Put it in the preheated 350F oven and bake it for 1 hour.
After one hour - remove from oven and let it sit for about 15 minutes before cutting into it.
The slices will be much cleaner if you let it set.