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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Veggie Lasagne

 I think lasagne is my all time favorite comfort food. It's the kind of food that just makes me go aaaaaahhhh. The layers of flavors and the cheeeese. Of course, the cheese. We used to have it a lot growing up and then my mom started adding grated vegetables. This is a take on hers. She always included shredded carrots which give it a nice sweetness. It's one of those meals that's different every time, depending on what you've got in your fridge. I'll include some suggestions for variations below. But overall, the zucchini and mushrooms in this give it one more dimension - and make it taste a little lighter.

4-5 cups of tomato sauce - (just cause it's a veggie lasagne doesn't mean you can't have meat. Add some ground sausage to your sauce for even more flavor)
1 package of no-boil lasagne noodles
1 big or 2 small zucchinis - grated and squeezed thoroughly through cheesecloth or papertowel
1 box of baby bella mushrooms - finely chopped
1 small container ricotta - you can make your own! (sometimes I like to add goat cheese)
1 egg, beaten
1 package of shredded Italian cheese (or sliced fontina, provolone, fresh mozzarella)
1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mix the ricotta with the beaten egg in a small bowl. Add a bit of salt and pepper and half a cup of the fresh basil.

3. In a large rectangular baking dish, ladle enough sauce so that it coats the bottom. Arrange one layer of the dried noodles across the dish.

4. Add a layer of ricotta over the noodles and spread so that it reaches all corners and edges. Add all of the shredded zucchini and then press down lightly with your hands. Add some more tomato sauce - just sprinkle it over the zucc. It doesn't have to cover it all or be perfect.

5. Add another layer of noodles and some more ricotta. Sprinkle all of the mushrooms. Add some shredded cheese or sliced provolone or fontina if you're using that instead.

6. Add another layer of noodles. Depending on how deep your dish is, you can repeat another layer of cheese and sauce. You should layer until your lasagne is even with the top of the dish. For the final layer, ladle enough sauce over the top so that the noodles are covered. Top with fresh mozzarella or other shredded cheese.

7. Tent tin foil over the lasagne to completely cover and seal it - but try not to let it tough the top or all of your cheese will come off with the foil when it's done baking. Put the dish on a cookie sheet and into the oven for 1 hour.

8. After an hour, take the foil off and cook for another 15 minutes until the cheese bubbles and is golden.

Sprinkle with the rest of the basil and enjoy!!

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