Vegetarian Lasagna

If you like lasagna but think meat lasagna is just too heavy for you this is the recipe for you. Can be prepared ahead of time. Adapted from Family Vegetarian Cooking by Good Housekeeping. See notes at bottom.

Serves: 6-8, depending on serving size
Required Equipment:
Large skillet
13″ x 9″ glass baking dish (or equivalent)
Large bowl and spoon
Large pot
Knife and cutting board (for prep work)
Ingredients:
9 lasagna noodles
8 oz portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 bunch spinach, stems removed and roughly chopped
2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs basil, fresh chopped or dried
2 tbs parsley, fresh chopped or dried
15 oz ricotta
8 oz mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
1/4 cup milk (any kind)
1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes (or around 2 cups tomato sauce)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
A dash of nutmeg
~1 tbs of olive oil (for sauteing)

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Cook noodles, rinse with cold water, and set to dry flat (so no wrinkles or folds form).
3. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and add mushrooms and onions. Saute until soft, around 5 minutes.
4. Add zucchini, attempting to separate slices as you cook, and saute until soft, and still colorful, about 4 minutes.
5. Add spinach and tomatoes and cook until spinach wilts and most of the liquid has evaporated, around 2-3 minutes. If vegetables are not soft and liquid is gone continue to saute until soft.
6. Add garlic, parsley, basil, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, and cook until garlic is fragrant, around 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
7. While vegetable mixture is cooling mix the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, milk, nutmeg, and 12 tsp salt and pepper in a bowl.
8. Add half of vegetable mixture to glass baking dish, spreading out evenly.
9. Add a layer of noodles and half of the cheese mixture, spreading out evenly. Top with half of your crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce).
10. Add another layer of noodles and top with rest of vegetable mixture, spreading out evenly.
11. Add the last layer of noodles and finish with remaining cheese mixture, spreading the remaining crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce) on top.
12. If immediately cooking bake on middle shelf for 25-30 minutes. If being prepared after refrigeration cook for 35-40 minutes.
13. Cool for 10 minutes to minimize burns and maintain the best structure when served.


I don’t particularly like store-bought tomato sauce. I think it’s too sweet and I pretty much hate sweet things mixed in with my savory things. As a result I’ve developed the habit of using crushed tomatoes whenever a recipe calls for tomato sauce (unless I have some home made sauce lying around). If this isn’t a problem for you for whatever reason I would advocate using tomato sauce instead of crushed tomatoes.

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