Tomorrow we’re having a big joint graduation/birthday party for me and Colin. Everyone is making tons and tons of food, so I decided I would be responsible for the sad, deprived vegetarians who will be attending. Well let me tell something to you, they are not going to be sad and deprived anymore because I just made the best vegetarian lasagne of all time.
Please don’t tell Mario Batali that.
I didn’t remember to take any pictures because by the time I think of my camera I’m usually elbow deep in cheese or something. So I’ll keep this short and just hand you the recipe, and I’ll put up pictures of the lasagne when I cover what is sure to be a wild and crazy party tomorrow night. Enjoy!
Spring Vegetable Lasagne
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 pounds sliced crimini mushrooms (I got the big pack from Costco)
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, divided into three piles
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly
- 3 cups grated parmesan cheese
- 1 box lasagne noodles
Add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp of butter to a large pan over medium high heat. Cook about one-third of the mushrooms with one bunch of the divided thyme until browned and just starting to release their juices, about 4 minutes. Put cooked mushrooms into a large bowl, set aside. Repeat with the next two batches of mushrooms.
In the same pan over medium high heat, add the asparagus and green beans. Cook for 2 minutes (you want these to stay crisp). Add the asparagus and green beans to the bowl of mushrooms and reserve.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the lasagne noodles and turn off the heat. This will gently cook the noodles without making them soggy.
Lightly coat the bottom of a lasagne pan (13×9) with the bechamel. Lay the lasagne noodles in one even layer. Spoon half the mushroom mixture on top, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with half of the chopped spinach. Cover with enough sauce to lightly cover the vegetables. Sprinkle 1 cup parmesan over the sauce. Repeat with the noodles and other half of the veggies and spinach and another cup of parmesan cheese. For the last layer, evenly lay the lasagne noodles over the filling. If you have any leftover sauce, spread it over the noodles. Lay your sliced mozzarella over the noodles along with the remaining parmesan cheese. I added extra because it’s cheese and I love it. Sprinkle with black pepper.
Cover the pan loosely with greased tin foil (this means you spray or wipe a little oil on the side that touches the cheese. This will keep it from sticking). At this point you can throw it in the fridge for a day, if you wanted to make it ahead. If not, bake it in the oven for 30 minutes until bubbly. Remove the tin foil and bake for another 5 minutes until the top browns (I threw it under the broiler for a minute to get it extra crunchy). Let it stand for 10 minutes before cutting into it.
If you wanted to make this non-vegetarian, it would be really delicious with pancetta or leftover ham. Or chicken!