gardening. cooking. everyday echols family spectacles.
This recipe (more like guidelines :P) is great because the flexibility is unbeatable! It’s adaptable to seasonality (if it’s in season, USE IT!), finances (if it’s on sale, USE IT!), and “wow I have a TON of ____ that’s gonna go bad if I don’t put it in something!” (if you have it, fresh or frozen, USE IT!).
Below is a suggested combination of veggies I typically use (because I buy them for other planned meals) as well as some seasonal variations. But I encourage you to be creative and use ingredients that are the best fit for your family :)
Another added bonus – this recipe is definitely freezable, do-the-day-ahead-able, and makes great leftovers!
9 standard lasagna noodles cooked as instructed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil and more as needed
3 medium carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
4 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 14 oz can diced, peeled tomatoes in juice (preferably with Italian spices)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
4 oz fresh spinach, chopped
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
fresh parsley, oregano, basil, thyme as available and to taste
12 oz cottage cheese
16 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1) Follow instructions to cook noodles as directed.
2) While water is heating and noodles are cooking, combine onions, garlic, and olive oil in a large skillet and cook over medium heat until onions begin to soften.
3) Add carrots, celery, and mushrooms to skillet. Cover and saute until vegetables are almost soft.
4) Add canned tomatoes and paste along with the spinach to the skillet. Season with balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and herbs. Bring sauce to boil and let simmer uncovered ~ 5 minutes.
5) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
6) While sauce is simmering, begin assembling lasagna:
Layer in three cooked lasagna noodles at the bottom of a 9-13 in. baking pan. Spread 1/2 of cottage cheese over noodles. When sauce is ready, spread 1/2 of sauce over cottage cheese. Finish off the layer by sprinkling on 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella. Repeat with a second layer – noodles, cottage cheese, sauce, mozzarella. When first 2 layers are complete, simply cover with the last three noodles and sprinkle the last 1/3 of the mozzarella over the top.
7) Bake lasagna at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.
Summer – Add/ substitute in some fresh zucchini, tomatoes, or eggplant.
Fall – Baked, cubed pumpkin and squash go GREAT in this dish.
Winter – Layer in thinly sliced root veggies like parsnips, turnips, sunchokes, and rutabagas or add some hamburger to make it more cold weather fare.
Spring – Go to town with early Spring greens. Take out the tomatoes and paste and do a white lasagna with just greens, mushrooms, and cheese!