2 cups mushrooms sliced
2 cups sliced celery
½ cup green chopped pepper
1 cups chopped or shredded carrot
1 cup onion
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
4 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, chopped and juices saved
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 6-oz can tomato paste
2 TBSP fresh parsley chopped
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp hot pepper flakes.
1 ½ cups water Divided
2 cups of thinly sliced zucchini
12 oz package of lasagna noodles (there is whole wheat available) ****
48 oz of part skim ricotta cheese
2 eggs beaten
2 10-oz boxes of chopped frozen spinach, thawed, and drained
¼ tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp of garlic powder (not salt)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of shredded Cheddar cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
**** I am now using the no-cook noodles. Just be sure they are covered with sauce.
For Sauce: Sauté the mushrooms, celery, carrots, green pepper, onion and garlic in the oil for about 10 minutes in a large heavy pot. Add the tomatoes and the juice, the tomato sauce, and tomato paste, seasonings and 1 cup of the water. Simmer, covered for about 1 hour. (I cook it for 40 minutes). If it becomes too thick, then add the extra ½ cup of water. If not, omit the water. Simmer for another 15 minutes. When the sauce is finished simmering, add the zucchini. Sauce can be made ahead.
For Lasagna: Cook the noodles in boiling salted water. ****See note above.
While cooking, mix the ricotta, egg and spinach and seasonings for the mixture. Set aside.
Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and layer ingredients as follows: On the bottom, put 1/3 of the noodles, cover with 1/3 of sauce, ½ of the ricotta-spinach mixture, and 1/3 of the Cheddar. Repeat layers. Top with the remaining noodles and sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Cheddar and all the parm cheese. Put 9 x 13 inch pan on a cookies sheet just in case it bubbles over. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 60 minutes until bubbly and slightly browned around the edges.
Let set for about 20 minute before cutting. Can freeze.
Feel free to substitute any vegetable that fits your taste. This takes some time, but well worth it.
Serve with a salad and crusty Italian bread. Wine too. ;-)
Pairs Well With
I love trying different types of lasagna. I found this one in one of my cookbooks and loved it. Since I am the only one eating it, I will cool it then cut it in portions and vacuum seal each piece. As I want it I will take from the freezer and microwave on a low setting until heated through. A real "keeper".
Even if you didn't want to make the lasagna, make the sauce for spaghetti!!!