Spring seems to be coming now. It snowed a bit yesterday (spitted? spat?) but it is in the 50s today and looking at the forecast for the next couple of weeks it seems to be staying in the 50s, 60s and, yes, 70s. YES!
To celebrate Spring and to continue with eating veggie meals several days a week AND because The Bearded One wanted lasagna, I fixed a vegetable lasagna for dinner tonight.
Yesterday, my sister commented online that she had a subscription to America’s Test Kitchen which reminded me that I have one also so I looked at their recipe for Vegetable Lasagna as a basis for making my own. Last night I fixed their meatloaf which was very good…almost as good as my Mom’s. But, I digress.
I do not post recipes on this site unless we really like them and want to have them in the future no matter where we travel. I can access my recipes through the blog wherever we are so this is for me…but if you want to use it…enjoy!
1 jar spaghetti sauce. Your choice, preferably garlicky and spicy or add some crushed red pepper flakes to the mix.
- No-Cook Cream Sauce
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (2 cups)
- 1/2 cup whole milk cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound mushrooms, sliced or eggplant in 1/2 inch cubes.
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 6 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1/4 cup minced pitted kalamata olives
- 6 ounces low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
1. FOR THE CREAM SAUCE: Whisk all ingredients together in bowl; set aside.
2. FOR THE FILLING: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. If using eggplant: Toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Line surface of large plate with double layer of coffee filters and lightly spray with vegetable oil spray. Spread eggplant in even layer over filters. Wipe out and reserve now-empty bowl. Microwave eggplant, uncovered, until dry to touch and slightly shriveled, about 10 minutes, tossing once halfway through to ensure that eggplant cooks evenly. Let cool slightly. Return eggplant to bowl and toss with zucchini and squash.
If using mushrooms, saute them in olive oil with a bit of salt until most of the moisture is gone. Add half of the following steps garlic/olive oil/thyme mixture. Saute briefly. Transfer to medium bowl.
4. Combine 1/2 tablespoon oil, garlic, and thyme in small bowl. Heat 1 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add eggplant mixture (if not using eggplant, this will just be zucchini), 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Push vegetables to sides of skillet; add half of garlic mixture to clearing and cook, mashing with spatula, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir to combine garlic mixture with vegetables and transfer to medium bowl. Repeat with remaining eggplant mixture, 2 tablespoons oil, and remaining garlic mixture. Add to mushroom mixture in medium bowl if you were using mushrooms instead of eggplant. (Am I confusing you? Bottom line: you will either have mushrooms and zucchini at this point or eggplant and zucchini. Got it?)
5. Return skillet to medium-high heat, add remaining teaspoon oil, and heat until shimmering. Add spinach and cook, stirring frequently, until moisture is gone. Transfer spinach to paper towel–lined plate and drain 2 minutes. Stir into zucchini mixture.
6. TO ASSEMBLE: Spray 8×8-inch baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce in bottom of baking dish; shingle 2 noodles on top of sauce. Spread half of vegetable mixture over noodles, followed by half of olives, half of cream sauce, and 1/2 cup of mozzarella. Repeat layering with 2 noodles, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, remaining vegetables, remaining olives, remaining cream sauce, and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Place remaining 2 noodles on top layer of cheese. Spread remaining 1/2 cup tomato sauce over noodles and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Lightly spray large sheet of aluminum foil with vegetable oil spray and cover lasagna. Bake until -bubbling, about 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack 25 minutes. Cut into pieces, sprinkle with basil, and serve.