Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Veggie Lasagna

This is my favorite recipe for lasagna. Homemade tomato sauce, a rich cream sauce, lots of vegetable fillings, and layers of mozzarella. Can't get any better!

9 lasagna noodles
For the tomato sauce:
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
For the cream sauce:
2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup whole-milk cottage cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. pepper

For the filling:
1 carton mushrooms, sliced
2  zucchini, cubed
2 yellow squash, cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
a few handfuls of baby spinach leaves

mozzarella cheese, shredded

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook lasagna noodles about 2 minutes shy of al dente according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

To make the tomato sauce, combine the crushed tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. 
To make the cream sauce, combine the Parmesan, cottage cheese, cream, garlic, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir to blend.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the zucchini and squash. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the cooked veggies to a bowl. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and cook the mushrooms until they have released most of their liquid. Transfer to the bowl with the rest of the cooked veggies. Add the spinach to the pan (add more oil if necessary) and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  

To assemble the lasagna, lightly grease an 8 x 12 inch baking dish.

o    Spread some tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.
o    Layer with 3 of the lasagna noodles.
o    Spread half of the vegetable mixture over the noodles.
o    Top with half of the cream sauce.
o    Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
o    Layer with 3 more lasagna noodles.
o    Spread some tomato sauce over the noodles.
o    Layer with the remaining veggies.
o    Layer with the remaining cream sauce.
o    Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
o    Layer with the 3 remaining lasagna noodles.
o    Spread the remaining tomato sauce over the top.
o    Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella. 

Cover with lightly greased foil and bake on 375˚ F until bubbling, about 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 5 minutes more until the cheese is lightly browned. Cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

**NOTE: I did not have any Parmesan cheese so I substituted it with mozzarella in the cream sauce and did not sprinkle any extra in between the layers. It was very good even with this change.

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from Cooks Illustrated
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