Vegetarian Lasagna: My Most Delicious & Easy Recipe
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We love lasagna...
but sometimes, we want to break away from the traditional meat and cheese variety. Also, since I am always keeping an eye on my health and weight, I like to make at least three vegetarian meals a week (and they must be tasty and interesting).
My husband's friend, Jeremy, is visiting Florence with his girlfriend, Olga. Jeremy is Parisian and attended cooking school there, but he works in Barcelona as a chef. I made this wonderful vegetarian lasagna yesterday for lunch.
Everyone gave it two thumbs up. What makes this dish really special is the sweetness of the carrots and onions combined with the creamy saltiness of the spinach white sauce. My husband and his friends wanted me to share the recipe with all of you, so here it is:
MY HEALTHY & DELICIOUS VEGETARIAN LASAGNA
spinach lasagna noodles (I used the kind that doesn't have to be boiled beforehand OR you may use fresh, if you prefer)
1 small head of broccoli- washed and finely chopped
5 carrots- thinly sliced
2 medium onions- thinly sliced
5 tomatoes- sliced into thin rounds
2 boxes frozen spinach- cooked & drained completely (squeeze out all the water!)
1 cup white wine
4-5 cups whole milk (I used almost one liter)
4 T butter
4 T flour
OPTIONAL: grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over each of the lasagna layers
1 fresh mozzarella ball- sliced
1-2 T bread crumbs
organic garlic powder, black pepper, salt (or seasoned salt)- add to personal taste
Preheat oven to about 180c (350f)
1. Sauté the onions with carrots until tender- be sure to lightly season them. They will become almost caramelized. Set aside.
2. Sauté broccoli until tender- be sure to lightly season it. Set aside.
3. SPINACH WHITE SAUCE: Make a rue by melting butter and toasting flour. Slowly add white wine, stirring constantly over low heat. Continue stirring while you add the milk. When you get to a thick gravy consistency, add your seasonings. Add the cooked, drained spinach to the white sauce. Add more milk if needed. Continue stirring until you reach boiling point. Remove from heat.
4. LAYER YOUR LASAGNA: in a big casserole dish, coat the bottom with some spinach white sauce. Add pasta. Layer half of the carrot/onion mixture with some spinach white sauce on top. Add pasta. Layer some spinach white sauce and cover with sliced tomatoes. Add pasta. Layer all of the chopped broccoli. Add pasta. Layer remaining half of carrot/onion mixture with some spinach white sauce on top. Add pasta. Layer remaining spinach white sauce and cover with sliced tomatoes.NOTE: grated Parmesan cheese can be sprinkled over each layer, if desired.
5. Arrange mozzarella slices on top of the last layer, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes until top is golden.
Serve with crusty bread and light-medium white wine. We enjoyed two: Trebbiano di Romagna (2009) and Orvieto Classico (2009), the latter being slightly sweeter.
There you have it- healthy and delicious. You don't have to sacrifice one for the other. Give my recipe a try to let me know what you think. Thank you for reading!
C. De Melo