Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vegetable Lasagne Verdi

From one of my favorite cookbooks from New Zealand; The Vegetarian Adventure Cook Book by Rowan Bishop and Sue Carruthers. It is in its fourth edition and can be ordered on-line.

400g (14oz) par-cooked lasagne or 6 sheets of oven-ready lasagne *
1 quantity mushroom sauce (see below)
1 quantity cheese sauce (see below)
250 g (8.8 oz) cooked spinach, or frozen (=350g (12.4oz) fresh)
1 250g (8.8 oz) carton of cottage cheese*
50 g cheddar cheese
3 T parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350.
Grease the bottom of a shallow oven dish and cover it with lasagne strips. Spread half the mushroom sauce over the pasta, then cover this with one-third of the cheese sauce.
Press any liquid from the cooked or thawed spinach. Spread half of this spinach evenly over the cheese sauce and top with half the carton of cottage cheese.
Repeat once more, then top with the remaining lasagne, spread with the last third of the cheese cause and sprinkle with the grated cheddar and parmesan. If you are using oven-ready lasagne, let the dish stand to allow the pasta to soften.
Bake for around 45 minutes or until the top is a bubbling golden brown.

*I usually have more lasagna on hand just in case. Last time, I used fresh mozzarella instead of cottage cheese.

Mushroom sauce

1 onion, chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
150 g (5.3oz) mushrooms, sliced
2 t oil
2 C cooked dried beans, preferably soy, mashed
salt and pepper, to taste
1 t dried oregano or 1 T fresh chopped
1 t sugar
2 cans of whole tomatoes or 2 lbs fresh*

Saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms in oil until the onions soften. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until the  mixture is reduced and thickened.
*I'll use frozen and chopped.

Cheese Sauce
60 g (2 oz or 4 T) butter
1/3 C flour
salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg
2 C milk
1 C packed cheddar or swiss cheese
3 T parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the flour, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Blend until smooth. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Stir in the cheeses.

**Not a great photo, but it was delicious anyway. I soaked the organic soy beans during the day and popped them into the pressure cooker for 10 minutes.  It was pretty soupy because my mushroom sauce was very runny. Rather than pour some of it off of the sauce, I just poured the whole thing into the lasagna. YUM!

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