creamy lasagna

Making a fairly complicated lasagna on a Friday night after work was just asking for trouble. I set the oven temperature too low, I mixed up the layers, I used these wacky no-boil lasagna noodles, it took forever to chop the vegetables, I scorched the bottom of my Dutch oven, the lasagna turned out soupy as hell. However, my brave salon attendees still managed to eat the whole thing, probably from the desperation that accompanies ravenous hunger.

I probably should have done the bechamel a couple days ago and then stuck it in the fridge. Same with the mushroom-sweet potato mixture and the spinach mixture respectively. As it was I was trying to do too many steps at once.

To make a long story short, Lasagna with Fall Vegetables, Gruyere, and Sage Bechamel from the November 2003 Cooking Light. Perfect main course for a veggie T-Day or a cozy Saturday or Sunday night dinner:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

To prepare bechamel, lightly spoon 2/3 cup all-purpose flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour in a Dutch oven, and gradually add 6 cups fat-free milk, stirring with a whisk. Add 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage, 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1 bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil; cook 1 minute or until thick. Strain bechamel through a sieve over a bowl, and discard solids. Set the bechamel aside.

To prepare the filling, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 1/2 cups finely chopped onion and 3 garlic cloves, minced; saute 3 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach; saute 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Set aside.

Combine 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 8 cups chopped portobello mushroom caps (about 1 1/2 pounds), and 6 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 2 1/2 pounds) on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

Combine 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese and 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh parmesan cheese; set aside.

To prepare noodles, soak 12 precooked lasagna noodles in 2 cups warm water in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish 5 minutes. Drain.

Spread 3/4 cup bechamel in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over bechamel; top with half of mushroom mixture, 1 1/2 cups bechamel, and 1/3 cup cheese mixture. Top with 3 noodles, spinach mixture, 1 1/2 cups bechamel, and 1/3 cup cheese mixture. Top with 3 noodles, remaining mushroom mixture, 1 1/2 cups bechamel, and 3 noodles. Spread remaining bechamel over noodles. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 9 servings.

Posted by astraea on November 22, 2003 | TrackBack

i've always been really wary of the no-boil noodles, but you couldn't even tell! very yummy!

Posted by: mo on November 24, 2003 6:00 PM

Next time, try leaving the noodles covered in water in the sink for three or four days. Then cook them for a further 12 hours and then prepare as above. Likewise, make the sauce by just adding water, flour and glue. Enjoy!

Posted by: Bob The Cat on June 2, 2006 3:20 AM
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