Vegetarian Lasagna

Lasagna is arguably the ultimate comfort food. There’s just something about layered food that makes them so satisfying. The traditional combination of cheese, pasta and sauce has been transformed to produce this ultimate comfort. Although this recipe takes a while, all the elements are simple and this recipe can be done far in advance, making it perfect for parties. However, this recipe is different from the classic meat version. This version is surprisingly light opposed to the heavy classic. 

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • Zucchini bolognese
    • 3 zucchinis
    • 1 medium red onion
    • 3 carrots
    • 5 cloves garlic
    • 3 tbs tomato pasta
    • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
    • 1 cup red wine
    • A handful of dried mushrooms
    • 1 tbs dried oregano
    • 1 tbs dried basil
    • 3 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • Bechamel
    • 3 tbs unsalted butter
    • 2 tbs flour
    • 3 cloves minced garlic
    • 4 cups milk
    • ½ cup cream
    • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • Saute mushrooms
    • 1 ½ lbs cremini mushrooms
    • 1 tbs olive oil
    • 3 cloves sliced garlic
    • Salt and paper to taste
  • Ricotta
    • 3 cups whole milk
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 3 tbs vinegar
    • 1 tsp salt
  • Pasta
    • 300 grams AP flours + extra as needed
    • 2 eggs + 3 egg yolks
    • Milk as needed
    • 1 tbs olive oil
  • Assembly
    • ½ cup grated parmesan

Procedure

  • For the bolognese
    • Soak the dried mushrooms in 3 cups hot water and allow to sit until ready
    • Medium dice the zucchini, onion and carrots and finely mince the garlic
    • Add the oil to a dutch oven on high and add in the veggies
    • Cook the veggies for 5-7 minutes or until almost cooked and then add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes more
    • Add in the tomato pasta when the garlic is fragrant and cook for another 3-4 minutes
    • Deglaze the pot with the wine and cook until reduced
    • Add the canned tomatoes and the drained mushroom broth, mix completely, partially cover and simmer on low for 3-4 hours stirring intermittently so the sauce doesn’t burn
    • After 4 hours, add in the dried spices, balsamic, salt and pepper and continue simmering for another hour
  • For the bechamel
    • Heat up a medium saucepan on medium heat
    • Add the butter and the garlic and cook until the butter is completely melted
    • Add the flour and whisk until the raw flour smell disappears
    • Slowly stream in the milk and cream and keep whisking and cooking for 10-15 minutes, or until creamy and thick
    • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cheese until melted
  • For the mushrooms
    • Cut the mushrooms into thin slices
    • Heat a large pan on high heat and add all the ingredients
    • Cook for 10-15 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated
  • Ricotta
    • Bring the milk, salt and cream to 200 Fahrenheit in a saucepan
    • Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar
    • Let sit for 10 minutes and drain into a strainer lined with a cheesecloth for 10 more minutes
  • For the Lasagna Sheets
    • Add the flour, eggs and olive oil to a food processor and blend until crumbly
    • Slowly stream in milk as needed and knead for 5 minutes or until very elastic
    • Wrap and store in the fridge for 2 hours
  • Assembly
    • Roll out the pasta dough into sheets the size of your container
    • Boil sheets for 30 seconds and immediately shock in ice water
    • Dry sheets and bring all fillings to room temperature

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