Friday, December 26, 2014

Vegetable Lasagna

3 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Thyme
2 16 oz. Crimini Mushrooms - Sliced
2 tbsp Marsala Wine

2 tbsp EVOO
2 Medium Red Onions - Cut in 1/2 and Sliced about 1/4" thick
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp Pepper

2 tbsp EVOO
2 tbsp Butter
3 Leeks - Cut in 1/2 - rinsed in a bowl of cold water and patted dry
1/2 tsp Pepper

2 tbsp EVOO
1 Bunch Kale - Stems removed & Chopped
1 Bunch Rainbow Chard - Stems Removed & Chopped
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Garlic Pepper

2 tbsp EVOO
3 Zucchini - Sliced about 1/4" thick longwise
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper

3 10 oz. boxes of Frozen Spinach - Defrosted and squeezed
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Cup Shredded Carrots

2 32 oz. containers of Ricotta Cheese - room temp.
3 Eggs - beaten
3 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

Bechamel Sauce:
8 tbsp Butter
1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Gallon Milk
4 Garlic Cloves - Minced
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Cups Parmesan Cheese - Grated

1 32 oz. package Mozzarella Cheese - Shredded

2 16 oz. boxes of Lasagna Noodles

2 tbsp Butter cut into tiny cubes
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese

OK, I will start off by saying this is a very labor intensive recipe. That being said, the payoff is enormous as this feeds an army.  Each part and it's ingredients are separated above.

In a large bowl combine EVOO, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, thyme.  Add in the mushroom to coat.  Spread out on a large baking sheet and place in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes to roast.  Then transfer to a bowl and pour over the Marsala Wine and stir.

In a large pan over medium heat add the EVOO.  Add in the onions and stir to coat.  Stir occasionally for about 30-40 minutes until the onions are caramelized.  When they are almost finished pour in the balsamic vinegar and stir.

In a large pan over medium heat add the EVOO & butter.  Add in the leeks and stir to coat.  Stir occasionally.  Cook for about 15 minutes until the leeks are caramelized.  At the end add in pepper.

In a large pan over medium heat add the EVOO.  Add in the Kale & Chard.  With tongs keeps mixing.  It will wilt down a lot.  Once it's wilted, about 3-4 minutes, add the salt, pepper and garlic powder and stir to combine.

Drizzle the zucchini with EVOO, then sprinkle with the salt & pepper.  In a large pan over medium heat add the EVOO. Cook the zucchini about 2 min. per side, just to get a little golden color on it, but not to make mushy.

In a large bowl add the ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne.  Mix well.

In a large pan over medium heat add the butter to melt.  Add the flour and stir to combine and cook about 2 minutes.  Add in milk gradually, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.  Once combined add in the garlic, parmesan cheese and dijon.  Continue stirring until thickened.  It should coat the back of a spoon and when you run your finger down the center of the spoon, it stays separate, but you don't want a thick clump, you want it to still flow.

In a large pot of salty boiling water add the lasagna noodles and cook for about 6-7 minutes.  You want to slightly undercook them because they will bake in the oven.  Then drain and pat dry with a paper towel.

Now comes the assembling and if you're prepared it will go easily.  You could build individual layers but honestly it's really not worth it and no one will taste the difference. In a very large bowl combine the mushrooms, onions, leeks, kale/chard/spinach, carrots.  Mix to combine.

In a tall 9x12" pan (I used the aluminum throwaway kind), coat the bottom with a little Bechamel sauce (so the noodles don't stick). Add a layer of noodles slightly overlapping.  Spread a layer of the mushroom, spinach, etc. mixture.  Top w/ a 3rd of the ricotta and then the b├ęchamel and then the mozzarella.

Add the next layer of noodles but going in the opposite direction (trim the noodles to fit).  Add the zucchini and repeat the steps of the mushroom, etc.

Dot the top layer w/ the butter and sprinkle the parmesan cheese.  Bake in a 350 degree oven lightly covered w/ aluminum foil (try to tent it so as to not touch the cheese) for 60 minutes.  Remove the foil and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until golden and bubbly on top.

Take out of the oven and let rest about 30 minutes before you cut and serve.  This gives all the cheese, etc. time to settle so that once you cut it, it doesn't just run out all over the place.

I served mine w/ a side of meatballs and slow cooked Italian Gravy but those recipes I keep to myself :)


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