Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Creamy Vegetable Lasagna

This recipe was based on a recipe I saw for lasagna with sausage and mushrooms. I decided to leave out the sausage and substitute roasted red bell pepper and roasted zucchini. It was delicious! Eli literally ate his entire bowl (this rarely happens). The secret to building a lot of flavor into this lasagna is to brown the mushrooms and onions in the butter (don't rush this step) and to broil the zucchini until the edges are golden brown. You could add italian sausage or left over cooked chicken if you'd like. I served it with a large helping of sauteed broccoli with olive oil and garlic and a piece of my
french bread toasted with olive oil, garlic and parmesan.

6 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into four strips each
2 red bell peppers, cut in half stem and seeds removed or 1 jar roasted red bell peppers in water (NOT vinegar!)
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
1 package white mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1/2 tsp salt (taste sauce for seasoning once it's finished. If your chicken broth is low sodium, you'll probably want to add more)
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
12 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions (or use the regular oven-ready lasagna)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven on broil. Place the bell peppers and sliced zucchini on a baking sheet. Brush both sides of zucchini with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Broil 5-10 minutes, until the skin of the bell peppers turns black and the zucchini are golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven. Cover bell peppers in foil to allow time to steam, in order to remove the skin (approx. 5 minutes). Chop the zucchini into bite-size pieces. Set aside. Remove skin from bell peppers and dice. Mix with the zucchini.

In a large saucepan, on medium-high heat, melt 2 tbsp butter with 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the mushrooms. Sautee 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the onions and garlic. Season with pepper and 1/2 tsp salt. Sautee until the onions are tender and light brown. Add the 4 tbsp flour, stirring to coat all of the mushrooms. Add the broth and milk, stirring well. Simmer about 5 more minutes on medium-high heat, until thickened.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. To assemble lasagna, spoon 2/3 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Layer three noodles. Top with 1/3 of the zucchini/bell pepper mixture. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers two more times, ending with a final layer of noodles. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and the 1/4 parmesan. Bake, covered with foil, for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 more minutes, or until very bubbly and cheese begins to brown. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.


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