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Vegetable Lasagna

March 22, 2012

My daughter has frequently referred  to this recipe as mine.  I finally asked her one day, why she said it was mine: she told me she had gotten it from me!  haha!!  I thought I had originally gotten it from my daughter and she had gotten it from  someone at Woods Hole (Cape Cod, that is):  now we are both confused but amusingly so.

The recipe origin is unknown but it’s a good recipe and worthy of a special occasion.

I know the ingredients are lengthy and the directions seem long but it’s definitely worth the time:  you’ll see!!

Vegetable Lasagna

1, 9 ounce package of  Barilla No Boil Lasagne

4 cups of Tomato Sauce or Victoria Marinara Sauce (the best substitute for the real stuff I have found)

4 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil

4 cups of grated mozzarella cheese (This is the only ‘already-grated’ cheese I believe in: Sargento Artisan Blends Whole Milk Mozzarella)

3 cups of grated parmesan cheese, about 2, 5 ounce packages of Stella Parmesan Cheese  (This is my favorite brand, you will need to grate this yourself)

Spinach layer:

2, 10 ounce packages frozen chopped spinach

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 shallots, chopped

8 ounce ricotta cheese

1 egg

Cook spinach according to package directions.  Drain in a mesh colander.  Press on the spinach (for at least 1-2 minutes), removing as much liquid as possible.  For an idea of ‘enough already with the pressing’,  you  should have about 1 cup of liquid. Discard the liquid.

Heat oil in skillet to one notch above medium.  Add shallots and saute 2 minutes.

Put spinach, shallots, ricotta and egg in processor and puree.  Put mixture in bowl and set aside.

Carrot layer:

1 pound of peeled carrots, cut into even chunks

2 tablespoons of butter

1/4 cup of minced onion

8 ounces of ricotta cheese

In a sauce pan, place carrots and  cover with water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer  until soft, about 15-20 minutes.  Drain.

Heat skillet to one notch above medium and melt butter.  Add onion and saute for 3 minutes.

Put carrots, onions and ricotta in food processor and puree.  Put mixture in bowl and set aside.

Zucchini layer:

5 medium zucchini

6 tablespoons of olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

Cut each zucchini vertically, getting about 3 nice slices from each (you will have a total of 15 slices).

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in skillet, one notch above medium  and add 1 minced garlic clove.  Place 5 slices of zucchini in skillet and saute until nicely browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side.  Place on a cookie sheet that has been covered with paper towels.  Repeat procedure 2 more times with the rest of the zucchini.

Assemblage:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish or an aluminum disposable lasagna pan with canola oil.

First layer:  1 cup tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon basil, 5 lasagne noodles, spinach puree, 1 cup mozzarella and 3/4 cup parmesan cheese.

Second layer:  1 cup tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon basil, 5 lasagne noodles, carrot puree, 1 cup mozzarella and 3/4 cup parmesan cheese.

Third layer: 1 cup tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon basil, 5 lasagne noodles, zucchini slices, 1 cup mozzarella and 3/4 cup parmesan cheese.

Final top layer:  1 cup tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon basil, 1 cup mozzarella and 3/4 cup parmesan cheese.

Put dish on baking sheet and place in oven.  Bake for 40 minutes.  COVER with aluminum foil (This will burn if you do not cover:  learn from my mistakes.  I had to make this twice for a party because I burned the first one.  This is only acceptable for  your immediate family.) and bake for another 20-30 minutes until bubbly and hot.

Now this creates alot of dishes, I know.  So this is where the Gnomes come in very nicely:  they clean up while you are cooking and then everything is done when the lasagne comes out of the oven!! Oh wouldn’t it be wonderful!!!  But seriously, while various things are cooking, keep up with the mess by cleaning up a bit as you go along.

Spinach Layer:

Carrot Layer:

Zucchini Layer:

Ready to go in the oven:

Ready to EAT !! (after 15 minutes of resting: very important)

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