Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Five-Veggie, Four-Cheese Lasagna

Whenever I hear someone complaining that they have a work potluck coming up, I am so confused. Sure, you've got to contend with the people who don't bring anything and eat everything. You've also got the people who bring whatever store-bought item was on the front table. But who cares? If you don't like it, you don't have to eat it. And there is always so much great stuff to try. Plus, when you find something you love, you know exactly where to find the person who has the recipe!

We have a couple of vegetarians on our staff, so I always try to accommodate them. Meat eaters can always enjoy a dish; vegetarians are often extremely limited. So here you go, my favorite herbivores, a vegetarian lasagna made from the new cookbook my mom bought me.


Five-Veggie, Four-Cheese Lasagna
The Deen Brothers, Y'all Come Eat

Ingredients:

8 oz. uncooked lasagna noodles (I use nine noodles)
3 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
6 oz. portobello mushrooms, sliced into 1/4 in. thick pieces
1 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4 in. strips
1 red onion, sliced into 1/4 in. thick rings
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, all excess water squeezed out
1 26-oz. jar spaghetti sauce (I use homemade marinara sauce)
8 oz. ricotta cheese (I use part skim)
4 oz. provolone cheese, shredded (about 1 c.)
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (about 1 c.)
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced (about 2 c.)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook, according to package directions, until al dente. Drain well.

3. Arrange noodles in a single layer on a dish towel-lined baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and set aside.

4. Spread the mushrooms on a baking sheet. Spread the zucchini and onions in a single layer on a separate baking sheet. Drizzle each with 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Roast the mushrooms for 25 minutes and the zucchini and onions for 35 minutes.

5. In a bowl, combine the artichokes and spinach.

6. Heat the marinara sauce in a small saucepan for five minutes.

7. Spread 1/4 of the sauce over the bottom of a 13x9 pan. Top with a single layer of noodles (three noodles for me), 1/3 of the ricotta, then another 1/4 of the sauce.

8. Spread half of the vegetable mixtures over the pan.

9. Layer 1/3 of the provolone, mozzerella, and Parmesan on top of the vegetables.

10. Layer another 1/3 of the noodles, 1/4 of the sauce, remaining half of the vegetables, and another 1/3 of all the cheeses, including ricotta.

11. Top with the last of the pasta, sauce and cheeses.

12. Cover the lasagna loosely with foil and bake for 40--45 minutes, until golden and bubbling.

13. Remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.

14. Bake the lasagna for another ten minutes, or until the cheese is brown around the edges. Let stand for at least ten minutes before serving.

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