Wednesday, November 7, 2012

White Lasagna

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Sometimes I get really tired of cooking meat.  I know, I know, I just heard you all collectively gasp, but it’s true.  I often say that I would be a vegetarian if I wasn’t so lazy.  …Or maybe I said veterinarian.  Oh well, either way, it works. 
I think it takes a lot of effort to consciously try NOT to eat meat, so I eat it, and for the most part I really like it. It’s just that every once in a while, I have to take a break and cook something veggie based.  So I came up with my own rendition of White Lasagna and I think it really turned out great.  You know it was a success when my hubby thought it was really good..and he didn’t complain about the absence of meat!  So here it is, all my Facebook followers can finally be happy after I teased you about how good it was yesterday!
White Lasagna
Okay, first you need to heat 2 TBSP. of butter and 2 TBSP. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a big ole skillet on medium heat.  Once the butter is all melted toss in 3 or 4 cloves of freshly diced garlic and saute. 
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Then add in one large or two medium sliced Zucchini and 4 large diced portabello mushrooms and a couple good sized pinches of salt. Saute on medium until the mushrooms just start to sweat and the zucchini is starting to soften. Set aside.
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Now you need to make the white sauce, which is super simple.  In fact, if you have ever made homemade mac & cheese or scalloped potatoes, you have made a white sauce. 
In a medium sauce pan, melt 3 Tbsp. of butter, then stir in 3 Tbsps. of flour and cook for a couple minutes.  Then, add in 4 Cups of Milk and stir it in well.  Heat it all slowly until it just starts to simmer, stirring constantly.  Once it simmers, it will thicken and then you want to remove it from heat.  Immediately add in 2 Cups of grated Parmesan Cheese, 2 Tsp of salt, and 1/2 tsp of grated nutmeg. Stir until the Parmesan is completely melted.  Voila, you now have white sauce with Parmesan cheese. 
*tip: taste your sauce to make sure you have enough salt! Trust me on this one.  You’ll have very bland lasagna if you don’t taste now.
In a 13 x 9 baking dish, lightly coat the bottom with a little bit of the white sauce and then begin to layer your lasagna.
I use the noodles that don’t require to be boiled in this recipe because the mushrooms and zucchini will cook out a lot of water and the noodles will soak all of that good juice right up.  ..It works pretty well.
So, put down a layer of noodles, then a layer of mushrooms and zucchini and then about 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat all of this again and then I add one more layer of noodles on top and top it off with the last of the sauce.  Then I cover the whole thing in Mozzarella Cheese.
Here she is in all her layered glory after I set her in the oven.
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I’m not sure why I think lasagna is female, but it just seems right.  Also, if you’re wondering what all those little balls are on the lasagna, it is the Mozzarella.  I don’t really like to use pre-shredded Mozzarella.  I know….. I’m a cheese snob, but I can’t help it.  And why not use the real deal when it comes in these little “pearls”  that you don’t even have to cut up!?  I found them at Wal-Mart in the specialty cheeses.  …you should try it, you’ll never go back.
Bake at 375 for 40 to 45 minutes or until the cheese is all melted and just starting to turn brown.
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Yummy.
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mmmm…  I guarantee you won’t miss the meat!
I hope you have a great Wednesday evening!
love,
Val

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