Friday, March 2, 2012

Veggie Lasagna

16 ounces lasagna noodles
6 ounces tomato paste
56 ounces tomatoes, crushed
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed (or fresh spinach steamed)
1 large carrot, peel and shredded
1 zucchini, finely chopped
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
16 ounces ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 onion, chopped
4 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons dried basil, divided
1 pinch brown sugar
salt to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook lasagna noodles in a large pot of lightly salted, boiling water for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Rinse with cool water, drain, and set aside.   Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the chopped onions, mushrooms, garlic, carrot and zucchini in the oil until soft. Stir in both cans of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, brown sugar, and salt to taste. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.   Meanwhile, microwave frozen spinach until cooked. Cool, and then squeeze out excess water. Drain cottage cheese. Using a mixer, blend spinach, cottage cheese, eggs, and 2 tablespoons basil until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine shredded mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread 1 cup sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer 1/3 of the noodles, 1/3 cottage cheese/ spinach mixture, 1/3 of remaining sauce, and 1/3 cheese mixture. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients. Sprinkle top with remaining 1 tablespoon of dried basil.   Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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