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Monday, March 16, 2009

Five-Veggie, Four-Cheese Lasagna

My mom gave me the "Favorite Family Dinners" cookbook for Christmas.  The Five-Veggie, Four-Cheese Lasagna looked so delicious, I had to try it.  This recipe is actually from Jamie and Bobby Deen's (Paula son's!) cookbook "Y'All Come Eat."  Usually anything with spinach and artichokes is right up my ally.  This was really good the first night we had it.  Then I ate it for lunch . . . everyday . . . for 4 days.  By Friday I was so sick of this lasagna I couldn't even look at it anymore, and we ended up tossing out the rest.  I hate to waste food - I think from now on I will be making a half pan!  If you like lasagna and these vegetables, I think you'll enjoy this recipe!  The roasted red onions were especially good.  I omitted the mushrooms, so I guess my lasagna was really Four-Veggie, Four-Cheese, and I also added turkey sausage to the sauce, but whatev.

Five-Veggie, Four-Cheese Lasagna

9 uncooked lasagna noodles
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
6 ounces portobello mushrooms, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick pieces (I omitted these)
1 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
1 red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings
Freshly ground black pepper
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered (I used frozen from Trader Joe's because they are cheaper, thawed)
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, all excess water squeezed out (I used roughly chopped fresh spinach, a 6-ounce bag I think)
1 26-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
1 package turkey sausage (hot or sweet), casing removed 
8 ounces ricotta cheese*
4 ounces provolone cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (about 1 cup) (I used shredded Parmesan)
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced (about 2 cups) (I used sliced deli-style Mozzarella)

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook according to package directions until al dente; drain well.  Arrange noodles in a single layer on a dish towel-lined baking sheet.  Drizzle lightly with oil oil (I did not use the olive oil and had no problems); set aside.

2. Spread the mushrooms on a baking sheet.  On a separate baking sheet, spread the zucchini and onion in a layer.  Drizzle 1 1/2 Tablespoons oil over each; season with salt and pepper. Roast until golden and caramelized (25 minutes for the mushrooms and 35 minutes for the zucchini and onion); cool. In a bowl, combine the vegetables with the artichoke hearts and spinach. (I wilted the chopped spinach in a small saucepan before adding it to the vegetable mixture).

3. In a small saucepan, heat the sauce over medium heat for 5 minutes.  I browned the turkey sausage in a skillet, drained off the grease (well since turkey sausage doesn't produce much grease, I usually use paper towels to wipe out the pan and squeeze out some grease from the meat), then added the sauce to the meat and simmered for about 5 to 10 minutes. 

4. Spread one-fourth of the sauce over the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Top with a single layer of lasagna noodles (3 noodles), one-third of the ricotta, and an additional one-fourth of the sauce. Spread half the vegetable mixture on top of the sauce, then layer one-third of the provolone, Parmesan, and mozzarella on top of the vegetables.  Layer another 3 noodles, another one-fourth of the sauce, the remaining vegetable mixture, and another one-third of all the cheeses. Top with remaining pasta, sauce, and cheeses.** 

5. Cover the lasagna loosely with foil. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until bubbling and golden. Remove the foil, increase the oven temperature to 450F, and continue baking about 10 minutes more or until the cheese is brown around the edges. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

*Instead of just ricotta, I used a version of the ricotta layer in my mom's lasagna. I combined 8 ounces of ricotta with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and 1 egg.

**I realize this is an overly complicated step, but that's how it's written in the recipe. I'm not sure the best way to write it, so I'll just leave it as is for now.

Source:  Adapted from the Favorite Family Dinners cookbook


  1. Zucchini and artichoke hearts sound like a great addition to lasagna! I didn't know TJs sold frozen artichoke hearts, so I'll have to check that out.

    I always have to freeze some of our lasagna, otherwise we can't finish it either!

  2. Oh I'm so loving this lasagna!! I have been craving all the veggies in this. Looks great Meghan!

  3. Good call on the freezing Kerstin - I will try that!

    Thanks Aggie!

  4. Ooh, I love all the veggies in this dish. Healthy yet decadent!


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