Very substantial veggie lasagna to be served as a meal. Can also be served as a side dish. It is layered with mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, roasted summer squash and also has a layer of ricotta in the middle. This dish is made with a simple bechamel white sauce made as a part of this recipe. It is very comforting, silky and also makes the dish very rich. You won't walk away feeling starved in an hour after this veggie lasagna!
1Preheat oven to broil. Drop the rack down one level away from the broiler to give you more control. On a shallow baking pan, line up sliced summer squash and brush with olive oil, and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Put under broiler for about 5-10 minutes, just until starting to bubble and turn golden. Remove from oven, flip the slices, brush with oil and repeat under broiler. When complete, turn the oven down to 350 degrees in prep for cooking lasagna. Set the broiled summer squash aside.
2In a mixing bowl, by hand, mix together your ricotta, 2 eggs, a couple dashes of garlic powder, the tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley (reserving a pinch or two of parsley for the top of the lasagna as your last step), and a couple of dashes of salt and pepper. Set aside.
3In 2 tbsps of olive oil, saute chopped shallot and garlic on medium heat for about 5 minutes, just until just about to turn golden. Add 2 more tbsps of oil. Put in mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, and season with 1 tsp of salt and 1.5 tsp of pepper. Saute on medium-high heat so that they shrink in size about 1/2 way. You aren't going to saute them all the way down because you want them to be a noticeable layer They will finish when cooking in oven. Set the pan aside.
4In a 2 quart saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Have a whisk ready and add the flour in thirds, whisking swiftly so that you have a smooth creamy paste. Add 1 cup of milk at a time and whisk until incorporated. Add 1 tsp of salt and 1.5 tsp of pepper. Also add a dash or two of nutmeg. Continue to cook while stirring with whisk for about 10 min. You will see the milk start to thicken. You don't want to bring milk to a boil just keep it on a medium heat. Remove from burner.
5To the milk, immediately add the 3/4 cup mozzarella and the 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Stirring as you add to the milk and continuing to do so until melted. Cover and set aside.
6Line your lasagna pan with first layer of noodles. Using a slotted spoon, layer all the mushrooms on top of the noodle. Then, using a soup ladle, drizzle over the mushrooms about three ladles of the milk sauce. Make sure that you hit the corners. Add next layer of noodles.
7For this layer, spread the ricotta cheese mixture. On top of this, add a handful of mozzarella cheese to make this layer stick to the next layer. Add the next layer of noodles.
8Ladle a layer of white sauce so that you completely cover the noodles in sauce, making sure to hit the corners. This shouldn't be a thick layer, but also not a thin layer. (Especially if you are using the no-cook noodles, you want to make sure there's enough sauce to hydrate the noodles when cooking.) After this, the white sauce isn't needed, so you may have some left over. Don't over do it with the white sauce, you don't want a sloppy, overly moist lasagna that falls apart as you try to serve it.
9Decorate on top of the white sauce: one row of the broiled summer squash slices, then one row of fresh halved cherry or sliced roma tomatoes. Continue to alternate across the top. I just slice the tomatoes as I go so I only use what's needed.
10On top of the tomotoes and summer squash, sprinkle in this order: one light layer of shredded Parmesan and then a layer of mozzarella. Make sure the whole top and corners are covered. I additionally very lightly sprinkle the mozerella with garlic powder Toss on the top a few chopped parsley flakes. Put in oven and bake for 40 minutes. If the top gets too brown, cover loosely with foil and let the lasagna continue to cook for 40 to 45 min.
11Remove from oven and let cool for 30 min before serving.