Monday, May 20

Whole Wheat Vegetable Lasagna

I don't often make Lasagna, but this one is just too good to pass up. The veggies act as the perfect meat replacement and the combination of 4, yes FOUR, different cheeses make this an ooey, gooey, stringy delight. 
Cook down a colorful array of vegetables. I chose zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, onion and mushrooms.
Mix ricotta cheese with herbs, an egg and some parmesan cheese.
Look! Four Cheeses. Ricotta, Shredded Parmesan, Provolone and Mozzarella. Yes, I like to shop at Sprouts.
Veggies cooked down with homemade marinar sauce. You can use whichever marinara recipe or store bought version you like.
Layer it up: Start with a good scoop of the vegetable sauce. 
Then a few noodles. My noodles were too big for my casserole dish, so I split them to size before boiling them.
Start spreading the ricotta mixture, using about a third of what you have.
Now goes the layer of provolone.
Followed by a second layer of sauce, noodles, ricotta, and then a layer of Mozzarella instead of Provolone. Finish with a third layer of sauce, noodles, ricotta and mozzarella, topped off with the fourth cheese, the parmesan.
Bake this bad boy for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven, switching to the broiler at the end to brown and bubble the cheeses. I make this small version because there are only two of us, but you could easily double it to make a traditional sized lasagna.

Whole Wheat Vegetable Lasagna
1 box whole wheat veggie lasagna noodles, boiled (I only needed about 8 noodles from a box of 20 or so)
1 jar homemade or store bought marinara of your choice
1 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 medium Zucchini, chopped
1 Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Yellow Squash, chopped
1 C cremini mushrooms, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
7-8 large leaves basil, chopped
splash of white wine
1 tsp. italian seasoning
4 slices provolone
1/2 ball of mozzarella sliced

Ricotta Filling:
1/2-3/4 C ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 C parmesan, shredded or grated
1/2 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Mix together the ricotta filling in a small bowl and set aside. In a large heavy bottomed pan, cook the veggies in 1 T olive oil over medium high heat until browned and tender, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, cooking until fragrant for 1 minute. Add the basil and italian seasoning, then the splash of white wine to deglaze the pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat down and add the marinara sauce, stirring to combine. You may want to salt and pepper the sauce, but taste it first.
In a casserole dish, layer the lasagna as follows:

Layer One:
A third of the sauce
Noodles to cover the sauce
A third of the ricotta filling (spreading gently)
The 4 slices of provolone
Layer Two:
Half the remaining sauce
Noodles to cover
Half the remaining ricotta filling
A layer of mozzarella
Final Layer:
The rest of the sauce
Noodles to cover
The rest of the ricotta filling
The rest of the mozzarella
1/4 C parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top

I like to alternate the direction of the noodles each layer. So, the first layer, they are horizontal, the second, they are vertical, and so on.

Bake the Lasagna at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, broiling the cheese at the end until golden and bubbly. Allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes outside the oven before cutting into it.