I’ve mentioned before that I love October. I love months were the seasons begin to change, regardless of what the calendar says. In the fall, when the weather cools, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen making all sorts of things. We moved into a new house recently, and have a fabulous oven and a great space for cooking – I plan to share many recipes with you this fall and winter!
Before my mom left on her cross-country journey to Arizona, I made a vegetarian lasagna for us. It was delicious – and even better served the following day for lunch.
There are many ways to make lasagna, and this may not be the most traditional, but it yields a great vegetarian lasagna! First you’ll mince a few cloves of garlic and sauté them with chopped onions and some butter in a large pan over medium heat. If you wanted to fake it, this would be a great time to stop cooking and throw in a frozen lasagna – your house will already smell like you’ve been cooking all day!
While that is working, chop the mushrooms, artichoke hearts and baby spinach. Add the mushrooms to the pan first, cooing for 2 minutes before adding the artichoke hearts. Give it about 3 minutes. In another pan, sauté the spinach until it wilts.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, add 16-ounces of ricotta cheese, a few handfuls of shaved parmesan cheese, season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the sautéed spinach to the cheese.
For this lasagna, I’m using an 8 by 8 baking dish, sprayed with cooking spray. My mom and I would not eat a full 9 by 13 pan of lasagna, but this recipe does make enough filling so that you can make a full size. To the bottom of the baking dish, add a bit of sauce – just enough to coat the bottom of your baking dish.
My favorite lasagna noodles come from Trader Joe’s. I like these best because you don’t have to boil them, they’re ready for the oven and they don’t over cook during the baking process.
Put a few of the noodles on the bottom of the dish. My baking dish would only accommodate two, but the larger dishes are able to handle three (or more)! Add a bit more sauce, too. You don’t want the noodles to dry out or stick to the bottom of your pan.
Add a few scoops of the spinach-ricotta cheese mixture, and add a few scoops of the mushroom-artichoke mixture. Smooth both out and add sauce. Repeat this process until you reach the top of your pan! Top with sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes.
While you’re cleaning up the kitchen, have your mom give your child a haircut.
Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
At that point, you can probably remove your bubbling creation from the oven.
Let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting. I know it’s hard. I used that time to clean off my dining room table. It’s been a dumping ground for everything that doesn’t have a home in our new home!
Cut, plate, enjoy!
What are your favorite ingredients to add to lasagna?
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pound mushrooms, chopped
- 1 package baby spinach, chopped
- 1 jar of your favorite Marinara sauce
- 1 package of your favorite Lasagna noodles
- 16 ounces of Ricotta Cheese
- 4 ounces of Parmesan Cheese
- 4 ounces of Mozzarella Cheese
- Salt, pepper, nutmeg - to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Saute garlic and onions over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Place mixture in bowl.
- To same pan, add spinach and saute until wilted. Remove from heat.
- In another bowl, mix ricotta, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add the spinach, stirring to combine.
- Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Coat bottom of dish with sauce. Add lasagna sheets and cover with additional sauce.
- Add a few scoops of the spinach-cheese mixture. Top with a few scoops of the mushroom mixture. Add sauce and additional layer of lasagna sheets.
- Repeat this process for 3 layers.
- Add sauce and mozzarella cheese to the top layer.
- Cover with foil. Bake for 50 minutes.
- Let stand for 10 minutes prior to serving.