This month’s Flavor of the Month is Family. I plan on sharing some recipes I enjoyed when I was growing up, along with some favorites I make for my family now.
When Derek and I first started dating (back in in 2008, whoa!), I was a vegetarian. Even then I liked to cook, so I cooked dinner on one of our first few dates. I wanted to make something special, super tasty, and also something vegetarian that didn’t feel like it was missing meat. This veggie lasagna fit the bill. It’s filling and uses mushrooms so it still has some meaty texture to it.
Let’s get to it!
The first order of business is to cook your noodles. I used to make this lasagna with fresh noodles, but found they got too soggy. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions for al dente. While the noodles are cooking lay out a long strip of parchment paper on your countertop. Once the noodles are done, take each one out of the pot with tongs and put it in on the parchment paper. Laying them out like this will make assembling the lasagna much easier later.
Now onto the mushrooms! Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan in over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and diced onion.
Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until the juices have dried up and the mushrooms are tender.
Add the marjoram and oregano and stir it in. I like these two Italian herbs because they are a little sweet. If you’d prefer to use other herbs, I would recommend substituting basil for one of these.
Take the mushrooms off the heat.
Preheat your oven and then it’s time to assemble!
Spread 1 cup of marinara in the bottom of a casserole dish.
Now layer three of the cooked lasagna noodles lengthwise. Sprinkle half of the cottage cheese evenly over the noodles. You can use a spoon, but I find it’s easiest to do this with your hands.
Now sprinkle half of the mushrooms and spinach leaves on top of that.
Top the spinach leaves with half of the shredded mozzarella. It’s important to use low-moisture whole milk (not part skim!) mozzarella. I’ve found that the part-skim stuff just doesn’t melt right in this dish.
Pour a cup of marinara over the cheese and repeat the layers with remaining ingredients (noodles, cottage cheese, mushrooms, spinach, shredded cheese, and sauce).
When doing the next layer of noodles, I recommend layering them at a 90-degree angle to the previous layer (you may need to trim the ends and will need 4 noodles for the non-lengthwise layer). This criss-crossing will make it so the layers are less likely to slip and slide when you’re cutting into the lasagna.
After you’ve put the sauce down on the last layer of shredded mozzarella, lay down three more noodles and pour over the remaining marinara. Shingle the fresh mozzarella slices on it and sprinkle the parmesan on top.
Now bake the lasagne in the oven about 45 minutes or until it’s browned on top.
The final step is to wait. It’s important to let the lasagna sit at least 30 minutes or it will be a big soupy mess when you try to cut into it.
- 10 dried lasagna noodles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
- 2 jars marinara sauce
- 8 ounces fresh spinach leaves
- 1 pound low-moisture whole milk mozzarella, shredded
- 1 pound cottage cheese
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cut into thick slices
- 1/2 freshly grated parmesan
- Cook noodles according to package instructions for al dente. While noodles are cooking lay out a long strip of parchment paper on the counter. Lay each noodle on the parchment paper.
- Heat olive oil in a sauté pan in over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until juices have dried up and mushrooms are tender. Stir in herbs take off the heat.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spread bottom of a casserole dish with 1 cup of marinara. Layer three lasagna noodles lengthwise. Sprinkle half of cottage cheese evenly over noodles.
- Sprinkle on half of mushrooms and spinach leaves. Top spinach with half of the shredded mozzarella.
- Pour 1 cup of marinara over cheese and repeat layers with remaining ingredients (noodles, cottage cheese, mushrooms, spinach, shredded cheese, and sauce). When doing the next layer of noodles, layer them at a 90-degree angle to the previous layer (you may need to trim the ends and will need 4 noodles for the non-lengthwise layer).
- After the sauce down on the last layer of shredded mozzarella, lay down three more noodles and pour over remaining marinara.
- Shingle fresh mozzarella slices on it and sprinkle parmesan on top.
- Bake the lasagna about 45 minutes or until browned on top.
- Rest at least 30 minutes before cutting.