Vegetable Lasagna

With rich and creamy Bechamel sauce, you won’t even miss the meat. This lasagna has layers of caramelized onions and mushrooms along with a zucchini and tomato topping. It is not only pretty to look at but delicious as well.

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1 500g package oven-ready lasagna noodles
2 cups ricotta cheese
3 cups bechamel sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
2 small zucchini (or 1 large one)
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 onion, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
9 to 10 grape tomatoes
Kosher salt

Ingredients – Bechamel Sauce
1/4 cup butter
1 cup flour
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
6 cups milk, room temperature
Pinch of salt
Pinch of nutmeg
2 eggs, room temperature

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom of a 9” x 13” baking pan with butter. Set aside.

Start by making the bechamel sauce. In a large pot, melt the butter and add the flour to make a roux (it will form a clumpy, glue-like mixture). Slowly add the milk a little at a time and stir it into the roux. (By adding it a little at a time, you avoid clumps.) Continue until the roux becomes liquid. Add the salt and nutmeg and then return the mixture to low heat. Continuously stir until the sauce thickens. Once it is thick, add the Parmesan cheese and stir in until melted. Remove the milk sauce from the heat. Beat the eggs in a bowl and slowly pour in some of the milk sauce to temper the eggs. Once the eggs have warmed up enough, pour the egg and milk sauce mixture into the bechamel and whisk until fully incorporated. Cover the top of the mixture with a sheet of plastic film to avoid creating skin.

Slice the zucchini into thin slices and set aside for the top garnish. Slice the mushrooms and onions and set them aside. Heat the oil in a small pot and add the mushrooms and onions. Season to taste with the Kosher salt. Cook until tender and slightly caramelized, stirring often.

Layer the bottom of the pan with the oven-ready lasagna sheets. Spread half of the ricotta cheese on the bottom layer and top with half of the mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Top with another layer of pasta. Cover the pasta with half of the bechamel sauce. Add another layer of pasta on the top of the bechamel and cover with the remaining ricotta and mushroom mixture. Add a final layer of pasta and cover with the remaining bechamel. Spread a layer of the zucchini on top of the bechamel. Slice the grape tomatoes in half and place them cut-side down between the zucchini rows. Add the remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheese on top of the vegetables.

Cover the lasagna with silver foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the silver foil cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.

Serves 6 to 8.

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