29 August 2011

Last week was totally crazy.  There was a death in our congregation, a death in our family, the computer at church crashed, got a new one and it's not compatible with the printer, and to cap it all off, on Sunday morning at 2:30 am we awoke to find a bat trapped in our bedroom.  Yep, it was one of those weeks!  

I didn't do a lot of cooking last week, but I did manage to try out this new meatless main dish over the weekend.  It's a veggie lasagna packed with onion, garlic, carrot, zucchini, yellow squash, mushroom, and spinach!  That's a lot of veggies for one dish!  And they're packed into layers of tender lasagna noodles with a creamy lemon garlic sauce and lots of mozzarella cheese.  Yum!  This is an adaptation of a recipe I saw on Kokocooks.

Lemon Garlic Vegetable Lasagna

¼ cup butter
5 cloves garlic, grated
¼ cup flour
4 cups milk
⅔ cup fresh Parmesan, grated
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
½ large onion, diced
½ cup matchstick carrots
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
4 cups baby spinach
9 no-boil lasagna noodles
3 cups shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375°.

For the sauce: Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute garlic in melted butter for 1 minute, stirring frequently to keep garlic from burning. Stir in the flour with a whisk and cook for another minute. Whisk in the milk, stirring vigorously to prevent lumps. Heat sauce until bubbling and thickened. Reduce heat to low, add Parmesan and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the vegetable filling: Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot and cook until soft. Add zucchini, squash, and mushrooms. Sauté another 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.

To assemble the lasagna:Pour a little sauce in the bottom of a 9x13” deep dish baking pan. (Alternately, I use two 5x7x2” baking dishes and freeze one for later.) Spread sauce so the entire bottom is covered with a thin layer. Place 3 noodles on top of the sauce. Layer some of the vegetable filling, more sauce, then some mozzarella. Place another layer of 3 noodles on top. Layer vegetable filling, sauce, and mozzarella. For the final layer, use 3 noodles, sauce, and mozzarella. 

Bake 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is browned and bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for 20 minutes. 

Makes 8 servings.

Let me tell you, this tastes as good as it sounds.  The lemon garlic sauce is so creamy and has just the right combination of lemon and garlic.  I didn't tell my husband about the sauce before we ate (I just called the dish "veggie lasagna"), so I wasn't sure he would even notice the lemon.  But after the first bite, he said, "I really like the little hint of lemon in here."  Awesome.

The original recipe called for additional layers of ricotta cheese, but I don't like ricotta, and it seemed like there was enough going on already that I just left it out without substituting anything.  As I made it, it didn't seem like it was missing anything at all.

The original recipe also called for half parmesan, half pecorino in the sauce, but I simplified it by using all parmesan.  It also called for traditional lasagna noodles, but I much prefer the no-boil kind.  Not only does it completely eliminate a step (and the space that step takes up on your stovetop), but I really like the consistency of them better than traditional.  When they cook up, they are thinner and more delicate than the traditional ones.  I really like that.  I think the traditional ones are thick and kind of cumbersome.  The no-boils don't have the ruffly edges, but they kind of get over-all wavy instead (as you can see in the pic above).  If you haven't tried them yet, I highly recommend you do.  You can use them in any recipe that calls for the traditional.

If you can't find matchstick carrots, peel and shred two carrots instead.  I usually have matchsticks on hand, so it's just easier for me.

 Fresh out of the oven.  You can see it's still bubbling around the edges.  Yum!

We couldn't wait the full 20 minutes before cutting into it, so our servings were a little sloppy.  No one seemed to mind!

This was really good, but I would definitely consider it a weekend meal, as opposed to a weeknight meal.  Any recipe that has multiple steps and requires multiple pots and pans on the stovetop is a weekend meal in my book.  But it was well worth the work!

This recipe was linked up at Jane Deere's Fusion Fridays. And at Church Supper #7 at Everyday Mom's Meals.

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  1. Looks absolutely Fantastic! This is a Must try for me!! I so agree about the noodle. Love em! Thanks for adapting & posting :)

  2. I love all veggie pasta dishes. Thanks for sharing at Church Supper!

  3. What an interesting recipe! I can't wait to try it... it looks so goo!