The high today in Minnesota was 44° and that was before noon. They told us we could possibly get snow! Here I was ready to plant my annuals and instead I decided it was a good day for baking. I once tasted my cousin Frank's vegetable lasagna. I was in the mood for it and had friends coming for lunch who like veggies. I remembered his was delicious. So I called him up. I was thrilled when he said he would give the recipe to me. Then he just started dictating! I was scared. When someone is not reading a written recipe, it makes me think they will forget something. So I wrote while he spoke. My post today is proof Frank has an excellent memory and an excellent recipe! I did change one or two things and added one or two things, but this recipe lends itself to improvisation. Without further ado, here it is!
|Cousin Frank's and Gloria's veggie lasagna|
|My friend's rescued puppy Bronte looking hungry for lasagna!!!|
One small box no boil lasagna noodles
About a ¼ cup olive or other vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
16 oz sliced small baby bella or crimini mushrooms for divided use
24 oz can Hunt's pasta sauce or your favorite pasta sauce
1 large bag rinsed and dried fresh spinach (the bags are about 7 ounces or so. ) *You may substitute frozen spinach that has been thawed and well drained.
1 cup shredded carrots ( my addition)
½ cup half and half creamer or cream (my addition)
32 oz container ricotta cheese
2 large eggs.
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided use.
18 slices mozzarella cheese.
Preheat oven to 350
Spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
Spray the foil which will be covering the pan during baking or use non stick foil for covering the pan.
For the sauce:
Pour the vegetable oil into a large saucepan. Set heat to medium and sauté chopped onion until it is translucent (you can kind of begin to see through it). Then add 8 oz only of mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Then add garlic and continue to cook for a few minutes so mushrooms lose their moisture and shrink. When the mushrooms are cooked stir in the 32 ounce container of pasta sauce and pour in the bag of spinach. Cook on medium low so the sauce just barely simmers uncovered for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup half and half or cream AND 1 cup shredded carrots.
For the ricotta layer:
Scoop out approximately 2/3 of a 32 ounce container of ricotta and put it into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir in eggs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Stir until well combined.
To the sprayed pan add about a quarter cup of sauce to spread over the bottom. Use a little more if you need to. Then add a layer of noodles. Break to fit them if necessary. Spread some sauce over the noodles. Then place half of the remaining mushrooms evenly on top of the sauce. Lay six slices of mozzarella cheese over them. Then spread half of the ricotta mixture over the mozzarella cheese. Repeat. You will end up with the ricotta mixture on top. Add six slices of mozzarella cheese on top of the ricotta and sprinkle top with one half cup Parmesan or to taste. Bake covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for about 20 minutes or until cheese on top turns golden. Note: you can assemble this lasagna and refrigerate it overnight. Then you will need to add 15 extra minutes or so to the "covered" baking time.