Monday, January 12, 2009

Vegetarian Lasagne

I need to make a dish for a lunch meeting Madam is having. The latest issue of Saveur Magazine just came and the following recipe caught my eye. I thought I would share it with you.

I don't usually fix a recipe for others without testing it on myself first but this one seems straightforward and for some reason sounds really great. I am going to have to double it and make two pans, but once you are into the mess it is not much extra work. Once of the things that really appeals to me is not having to precook the pasta. I really hate that part of making lasagne as you never have enough space to keep the noodles after they are cooked. You always wind up damaging them or getting them stuck together. This recipes eliminates that step. I think it is a go. You can get this off the Saveur website here. If you haven't visited the website or haven't read the magazine I recommend both highly. Always great recipes and information on food. They cover American regional cuisine and all kinds of foriegn stuff. You'll find things in the magazine and on the website that you won't find any other place. I love it and have subscribed since their premier issue. I look forward to each issue.

Vegetarian Lasagne

SERVES 6 – 8

This is a vegetarian take on the classic, creamy lasagna bolognese.

12 tbsp. unsalted butter
12 sun-dried tomatoes
1 shallot, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1⁄2 cup flour
5 cups milk
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. shiitake mushrooms,
stemmed, quartered
1⁄2 lb. spinach, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp. chopped oregano
1 tbsp. chopped thyme
1 tbsp. chopped rosemary
1 tbsp. tomato paste
5 cups whole canned tomatoes, crushed
1 lb. lasagna noodles
2 1⁄2 cups grated grana padano
2 1⁄2 cups grated fontina

1. Grease a 9"x 13" baking pan with 1 tbsp. butter. Cover dried tomatoes with 1 cup boiling water; soak for 20 minutes. Drain. Chop; set aside.

2. Make béchamel: Heat 8 tbsp. butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and carrots; cook 5 minutes. Add flour; cook 2 minutes. Whisk in milk; boil. Reduce to medium-low; simmer, whisking, until thick, 20–25 minutes. Add nutmeg; season with salt and pepper.

3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and remaining butter in a 6-qt. pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook 10 minutes. Add dried tomatoes, spinach, garlic, parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and tomato paste; cook 3 minutes. Add canned tomatoes. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set sauce aside.

4. Heat oven to 375˚. Spread 2 cups tomato sauce in baking dish. Cover with a layer of noodles. Spread 1 cup béchamel over top; sprinkle with 1⁄2 cup of each cheese and 2 cups tomato sauce. Repeat layering 2 more times. Top with remaining noodles, tomato sauce, béchamel, and cheeses. Bake covered with foil on a baking sheet for 1 hour. Remove foil; raise oven to 500˚. Bake until golden, 15 minutes.

This recipe was first published in Saveur in Issue #117


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