Wild Mushroom Lasagne

Lasagna, Vegetarian

Wild Mushroom Lasagne II

Adapted from cooking.nytimes.com

And so my lasagne obsession continues! This is another great one with a beautiful blend of a strong wild mushroom taste with ricotta, marinara and Parmesan. The recipe itself is not too complex. You can prepare it up to a day ahead and refrigerate or freeze it. You can even bake it several hours ahead and reheat it in a medium oven.

P.S. I greatly apologize for my inconsistency. I had a few rough and busy months but now I am less stressed and hope to start blogging again regularly. Thank you for your patience!

Yields 6 servings

Wild Mushroom Lasagne

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pound wild mushrooms, torn or cut into smaller slices if large (I used oyster and shiitake mushrooms)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 8 ounces ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2¼ cups marinara sauce (recipe below)
  • 7 to 8 ounces whole wheat lasagne noodles, prepared according to package
  • 4 ounces (about 1 cup) grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms. Let sear without moving for about 30 seconds, then toss and stir in the pan until they begin to sweat, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn heat to medium and add the thyme. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook over medium heat until the mushrooms are soft. Remove from heat.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C). Lightly grease a 13×9 baking dish and set aside.
  3. Blend the ricotta with the egg, water, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Spread a small spoonful of marinara in a thin layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with a layer of lasagne noodles. Top the noodles with a thin layer of the ricotta mixture. Spoon on a few dollops then spread it wan a rubber spatula. Top the ricotta with half the mushrooms. Top with a layer of marinara sauce and a layer of Parmesan. Repeat the layers. End with a finally layer of lasagne noodles topped with marinara and Parmesan.
  5. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminium. Bake in the preheat oven for 40 minutes or until the noodles are tender and the mixture is bubbling. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Wild Mushroom Lasagne

Simple Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes, chopped, with juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Pulse the chopped tomatoes in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the sugar and salt. Stir and turn up the heat. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until thick and fragrant, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Wild Mushroom Lasagne, pedazo

Comments: So, funny story: This is actually supposed to be “Lasagne with Spinach and Wild Mushrooms.” The first step was to cook 1 pound of spinach in a pot until wilted and then chop it. I cooked the spinach and then did the rest of the recipe. I finished assembling my beautiful lasagne, raised my eyes and saw the spinach to my left all nicely chopped up. I couldn’t disassemble the lasagne and went ahead and cooked it without the spinach. It turned out to be a huge success. I served the spinach on the side, but the lasagne really did not need it. If you wish to add the spinach, stir it into the ricotta-egg mixture right before assembling the lasagne. My little adventure aside, when choosing the mushrooms I decided for oyster and shiitake mushrooms. Some other examples of wild mushrooms are porcini, cremini, maitake and morels.

Wild Mushroom Lasagne, pedazo II

Florentine Lasagna

Lasagna, Vegetarian

Florentine Lasagna

Adapted from eatingwell.com 

Here goes another recipe to satiate my lasagna obsession. It offers a great blend of spinach and cheeses. It doesn’t take very long to make and there is nothing too complex about the instructions. It makes a great dinner for vegetarians as it includes whole-wheat pasta, iron-rich spinach and a LOT of dairy protein. It did not disappoint! 

Yields 8-9 servings 

Ingredients:

  • 16 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups milk
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 16-ounce container ricotta
  • 1 16-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • ¼ cup Italian blend shredded cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
Florentine Lasagna, plato

Don’t judge. I love nutmeg on pasta and with spinach. You should try it!

Directions: 

1.     Bring a pot of water to the boil. Preheat the oven to 425F (218C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

2.     Cook the lasagna noodles in the boiling water until tender, about 8 minutes. With tongs, remove the noodles from the pot and arrange in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel cover with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. Set aside.

3.     Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside ¼ cup of the onion. Add the flour to the onion mixture still in the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk and return to a simmer. Cook, whisking until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Spoon ½ cup of the sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish and set aside.

4.     Process the ricotta, the reserved ¼ cup of onion, spinach and Italian blend in a food processor until well combined and the spinach is finely chopped. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the egg and pulse until blended.

5.     Spread a generous ½ cup of the spinach mixture onto the baking dish. Use more as needed to cover the bottom. Top with about 3 noodles so as to cover the bottom. Top with another generous ½ cup of filling or so and then 3 more noodles. Continue until the filling is used up. Top the final spinach layer with 3 more noodles. Spoon the remaining sauce evenly over the lasagna and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

6.     Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden.

      Comments: This was actually meant to be lasagna roll-ups. However, my mom had previously frozen some cooked lasagna noodles and they were already cut so I had to resort to make an actual lasagna. I personally find lasagna roll-ups more fun and they are different. However, feel free to make this recipe however you like. To make the roll-ups, you will spoon ½ cup of the sauce into the bottom of the baking dish as normal. Then, instead of layering the noodles and filling like normal lasagna, you will spread 3 tablespoons of the filling over 1 noodle. Then you will roll it up firmly and place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish. Finally, you top the roll-ups with the sauce and sprinkle with the Parmesan and cook as instructed. When making a normal lasagna, I actually ended up using less than 16 noodles but this is the right amount for the roll-ups.

Florentine Lasagna, plato, lado

Pumpkin Lasagna with Mushrooms & Spinach

Lasagna, Vegetarian

Pumpkin Lasagna with Mushrooms & Spinach

Adapted from verybestbaking.com

Let us further celebrate this wonderful pumpkin season with lasagna. Yes, you heard correctly: PUMPKIN LASAGNA. Wow. So much deliciousness in just those two words. As I’ve said before, I love lasagnas and I love anything pumpkin. Put them together and you get a wonderful meal. Add in the spinach and mushrooms and it becomes very nutritious. My parents are not such pumpkin enthusiasts as me so I was a bit hesitant at first but both really liked it. I’m sure you will too.

Yields 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin puré
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 6 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked according to package
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, divided
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Pumpkin Lasagna with Mushrooms & Spinach, lado

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 to 6 minutes or until they are tender. Add the spinach and stir until the spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat.
  3. Combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sage, pepper and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
  4. Spread ¼ cup of the pumpkin sauce onto the bottom of the baking dish. Top with 2 noodles, overlapping slightly. Spread ½ cup pumpkin sauce to edges of noodles. Top with half of the mushroom-spinach mixture, ½ cup of ricotta, ½ cup of mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese. Repeat the layers. Finish by topping with the remaining 2 noodles and sauce. Cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and a light golden brown.

Pumpkin Lasagna with Mushrooms & Spinach, porción

Comments: I was not at all disappointed with this lasagna and it was a very appropriate October dinner. I used cremini mushrooms but use whatever kind you like best. I think next time I might use some more spinach; I followed the instructions this time around but I think it could have used some more spinach. I know Libby’s is the best-known brand of pumpkin however I just discovered that Trader Joe’s has a really good one. I tried a little as I was cooking just because and found it actually tastes like pumpkin. Most canned pumpkin tastes really bad (including Libby’s) but this one didn’t. Their secret? The pumpkin is cooked and canned on a family-owned farm in Washington within hours of being harvested. I highly recommend it. I am now using as much whole grain as I can however you can substitute the whole wheat noodles for regular ones. Remember to spread them out on aluminum foil once cooked so they don’t stick; if you use no-boil noodles, you don’t have to cook them beforehand. Finally, I found it a bit hard to spread the ricotta; I think it may be easier if you pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it. Long live the pumpkin season!

Pumpkin Lasagna with Mushrooms & Spinach, porción lado

Lasagna with Roasted Eggplant, Mushrooms and Carrots

Lasagna, Vegetarian

Lasagna with Roasted Eggplant, Mushrooms and Carrots

Adapted from nytimes.com/cooking

For some reason over the past few years I have developed an obsession with lasagnas. Of course I always liked them but now I absolutely love them and I hate when restaurants only serve Bolognese lasagnas because I never really liked them that much and because now I’m vegetarian. I found this recipe and since it had eggplant as one of the vegetables I wanted to try it out. One of if not the best lasagna I’ve ever had.

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ pounds eggplant (1 medium), cut in lengthwise slices about 1/3 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ pound mushrooms, cut in thick slices
  • 1 large carrot, cut in ½-inch dice
  • ½ teaspoon dry ground thyme
  • 2½ cups tomato purée
  • 7 to 8 ounces no-boil whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 3 ounces mozzarella di bufala or burrata
  • 3 ounces freshly grated Parmesan

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F (232C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pat the eggplant slices dry with paper towels and toss them in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place them on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, close the oven door and flip the eggplant slices over. Return to the oven for 5 to 10 more minutes or until the eggplant is tender when pierced and browned in spots. Remove the slices from the baking sheet and set aside.
  3. Toss the mushrooms, carrots and thyme with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the vegetable mixture on the parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring hallway through, until the carrots are slightly caramelized and the mushrooms are tender. Remove from the oven.
  4. Reduce the heat of the oven to 350F (177C).
  5. Grease a 13×7-inch baking pan. Stir the mushrooms and carrots into the tomato purée. Spread a small spoonful of the sauce over the bottom of the baking pan. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Top the noodles with a spoonful of sauce then a layer of eggplant slices. Top the eggplant with half of the mozzarella and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of lasagna noodles topped with a layer of tomato sauce and a layer of Parmesan.
  6. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the noodles are tender and the mixture is bubbling. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes until the top begins to brown.

Comments: Like I said before, this is one of my absolute favorites. Before my favorite was a spinach lasagna, which I will eventually post, and I never expected to have a competitor. Like all lasagnas, this one is pretty straightforward. What probably takes the longest is roasting the vegetables. The original recipe uses the common mozzarella you use for pizza and such and it says to shred it or thinly slice it. However, because it said FRESH mozzarella, I bought burrata, which is like mozzarella di bufala but with some cream inside. Since I used this instead, I dropped small pieces when needed and used a knife to spread it out a bit. If you prefer regular mozzarella go ahead and use it but I think the original, fresh kind is better. Enjoy!

Lasagna with Roasted Eggplant, Mushrooms and Carrots, pedazo II

Tomato-Basil Lasagna Rolls

Lasagna, Vegetarian

Tomato-Basil Lasagna Rolls

 

Adapted from Southern Living Vol.48 No.10

I love lasagna and recently I have become a bit obsessed with it. These rolls, are creamy, cheesy and so good. This is a lighter option compared to the traditional meat lasagna. Never the less, it is a very hearty dish.

Ingredients:

  • 10 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 (24-oz) jar of tomato-and-basil pasta sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 14 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup torn fresh basil
  • 1 oz Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C).
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente. Drain the pasta (do not rinse). Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a piece of greased aluminum foil or wax paper.
  3. Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan. Sauté the onions in the hot oil over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes until caramelized. Stir in the tomato sauce, sugar and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Stir together the ricotta and cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the spinach, egg white, basil and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Spread ¼ cup of the cheese mixture on 1 noodle. Roll up firmly and place, seam side down, into a greased 13×9-inch baking dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and cheese mixture. Spoon the tomato sauce over the lasagna rolls.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes until thoroughly heated and bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with some more basil and Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Comments: These are a lovely twist on the classical lasagna. The little rolls are adorable and make perfect individual servings. Making these might be a good idea for a dinner party, for example, because you don’t have to cut up a lasagna which may be a messy business. Personally, I am simply a sucker when it comes to spinach and ricotta lasagna.