There are times in life when the only thing you can do for someone is feed them. When no words can soothe, a warm favorite food meal may provide some measure of comfort. Packing a casserole with goodness and love because it’s all you can do is occasionally part of this thing called life. The sucky part of life. This lasagna is perfect for such a time. It is also great for a weekday dinner for your family. Who, you should hold close. And tell them you love them. Give your kids an extra hug today while you’re at it. Because life is precious.
Don’t be afraid of this recipe. It’s a lot of steps, but not hard at all. It easily makes two 9×9 casserole dishes or one large 13×9 dish. First up, the noodles. I’m not a fan of boiling noodles. I’ve just never found them to be particularly easy to work with once they’re completely cooked in boiling water. So, I put my lasagna noodles in a pan and pour boiling water over them (I just use my electric tea kettle). Let them sit for 30 minutes. Which is perfect for just about any lasagna recipe. Because it takes that long to get everything else together.
“Everything else” for this lasagna starts with nice fresh vegetables. Lots of them. I almost always buy one zucchini that’s smaller than the rest. As a 5′ 3″ person, I feel sorry for the little ones…they deserve love too.
Chop them up and set them up to roast away in the oven while we get the rest of the components going. So, while you have your noodles gently cooking and your veggies going, all the rest comes together. This is called cooking time management. Multitasking. Or, as my hubby’s Grandpa Dean likes to say (in a gruff but totally adorable ex-military way) “Time and motion. Time and motion.”.
Let’s get the most gorgeous sauce ever going shall we? Saute some shallots, onions and make a little rue with some flour and cream/milk. Until it’s a little thick.
Then add two kinds of cheese. Gouda and Asiago. Oh yummy.
And some veggies for the sauce too. Spinach and artichokes.
Not gonna lie, I kind of wanted to just grab a bag of chips and settle down with this bowl on the couch. It’s essentially a delicious spinach artichoke dip. But we’re going to use it to make lasagna. Yeah. That’s a big win.
The filling is super easy. Some cottage cheese, egg and a little seasoning.
Get your assembly line ready. Roasted veggies, sauce, filling and cheese. La, la, la!
Start with some sauce in the bottom of your dish.
Then layer one-third of the noodles…
…half of the vegetables…
…1 cup of mozzarella…
…and half of the filling.
Repeat layers and top with the last noodles, the rest of the sauce and final cup of cheese.
Mmmmmmmm. Layers of goodness.
Bake until glorious. About 45 minutes.
Thank you to my sweet husband, who took pictures of the finished product for me as I delivered the meal to our friends. He’s the best. Enjoy!
Apparently I need some new plates. Please pay no attention to the giant chip in the bottom of this one.
White Vegetable Lasagna
adapted from Food.com
16 ounces lasagna noodles, cooked
3 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise then thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, chopped
16 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced ( baby bellas)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 -3 shallots, minced ( about 1/2 cup)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon italian seasoning or 1 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons all-purpose white flour
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup light cream
1 cup Gouda cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Asiago cheese, shredded ( 3/4 oz)
2 cups frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
13 3/4 ounces water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes ( to taste)
16 ounces low-fat cottage cheese ( 2 cups)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more to taste
3 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Cook noodles according to package instructions.
- Roasted Veggies:.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Toss zucchini, bell pepper and mushrooms with olive oil.
- Spread evenly onto a large baking sheet with 1/2″ sides.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Drain liquid.
- While the veggies are roasting, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and saute for about 3 minutes until lightly browned.
- Add garlic and italian seasoning and saute for 2 more minutes.
- Stir in flour.
- Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer, stirring often, over low heat for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. You can keep it simmering over very low heat while you finish other prep work.
- Stir together all filling ingredients except the mozzarella.
- Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce across the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish.
- Layer one-third of the noodles, half of the vegetables, 1 cup of mozzarella, and half of the filling.
- Repeat one-third of noodles, half of veggies, 1 cup mozzarella and remaining filling.
- Top with last third of noodles, remaining sauce and last cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Cover loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 400°F.
- Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes.