Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Veggie Lasagna

Today I'm planning to make super yumminess. Veggie Lasagna.. Full of squash, zucchini, onions, garlic, mushrooms, carrots... mmmmmmmmmmmm Creamy parmesan bechamel.. layers of mozzarella and provolone cheese.. crispy panko breadcrumbs on top.. fresh basil from my garden running throughout... oh yeah baby. Its bad. Its yummy. And I'm in the mood to cook. I'm really looking forward to it. :) Here's my recipe:

Veggie Lasagna

12 lasagna noodles, cooked very al dente (don't let them get too soft!)
2 yellow squash, small diced
3 zucchini, small diced
1 large onion, small diced
3-4 carrots, peeled and small diced
8 oz container cremini mushrooms, diced (these shrink a lot when cooking so they don't have to be chopped as small)
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour
2 cups milk
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
fresh pepper
1 handful fresh basil, chopped (sorry not exact, I literally just cut a handful off my basil plant in the garden)
12 slices provolone cheese
3 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Start by sauteing the veggies, 1 at a time in olive oil.. salting each one lightly. I do them one at a time so that there is room in the pan for each to get browned nicely. Then I move them to a bowl and mix them together there. I generally end with the mushrooms and add the garlic to those just as they are finishing. And do not salt the mushrooms until they are nice and brown. You'll regret it if you don't!!

Now lets make creamy parmesan bechamel. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the flour. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.. just to get the flour taste gone. Then add in your milk slowly and whisk the heck out of it. We don't want lumps. Cook this until its boiling and bubbly and getting thick. If it's not getting thick enough.. you can mix together some flour in softened butter and whisk it in. Sometimes I have to do this, sometimes I don't. I never understand it. lol Once you have a nicely thickened white sauce, kill the heat and start adding in your grated parm. You may want to add more than 1 cup..if you're wild like me and think there is no such thing as too much cheese. Then add in a pinch or so of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper.. and the fresh basil.

Now lets put it all together. In a lightly buttered lasagna pan, spread a ladle full of the bechamel in the bottom of the pan (this makes it not stick).. Then layer in 4 of the lasagna noodles, top them with half the veggies, 1/3 of the sauce on that, half the mozzarella cheese and then layer 6 of the slices of provolone on top of that.. Repeat the layers one more time. Then top with the last 4 lasagna noodles and the rest of the sauce and sprinkle with the panko breadcrumbs... and a little more parm cheese if you're feeling wild (I'm always feeling wild hehe)

Bake in a 400 oven for about 20-30 mins until its hot, bubbly, and the panko breadcrumbs are nice and brown. If you're having trouble getting the topping browned, just throw it under the broiler for a few mins (if your pan can handle being in the broiler, that is). Now the most important part is to let the lasanga sit for at least 15-20 minutes after taking it out of the oven. It must rest or it will run all over the place when you try to cut into it.

Enjoy!! Pics will follow later tonight :)

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