Vegetarian Lasagna

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PRESENTATION

Vegetarian lasagna is a lighter and more colorful version of oven-baked lasagna, a beloved first course for both adults and children, and the undisputed protagonist of many Italian families' Sunday lunches! With its tasty layers of vegetables and béchamel, interspersed with thin sheets of good homemade puff pastry, vegetarian lasagna will conquer even the most difficult palates! We like to think of this recipe a bit like a 'sketch', a starting point to enrich or vary according to taste or nature: a palette that in summer colors up with peppers and eggplants, where in spring asparagus and snap peas pop up, and in winter pumpkin, beetroot, cauliflower ... whatever the season or occasion, this quick vegetarian recipe will enrich your festive menus with aromas and colors, or become a substantial and genuine single dish, to be enjoyed in generous portions.

To stay on the theme of vegetarian lasagna, also try the variant with pesto and zucchini!

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients for the egg pasta
Flour 00 1 ½ cup (200 g)
Eggs 2
For the béchamel sauce
Whole milk 4 ¼ cups (1 l)
Flour 00 3 cups (100 g) -
Butter 3.5 oz (100 g)
Fine salt to taste
Nutmeg 1 pinch
Black pepper 1 pinch
For the filling
Champignon mushrooms 3 ½ cups (250 g)
Zucchini 6 oz (170 g)
Carrots 1 ½ cup (200 g)
Red onions 1 cup (200 g)
Broccoli 2 cups (250 g)
Datterino tomatoes 1 cup (200 g)
Parmigiano Reggiano PDO cheese 2 cups (200 g) - to be grated
Thyme to taste
Extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp (30 g)
Black pepper to taste
Fine salt to taste
Preparation

How to prepare Vegetarian Lasagna

To prepare vegetarian lasagna, start by making the egg pasta. Pour the flour into a bowl 1, keeping about 1.7 oz aside. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, then add them to the flour 2 and start kneading until you've mixed the ingredients well 3.

At this point, transfer the mixture onto a pastry board and work it 4, adding the flour kept aside as needed, until you get a smooth, firm, and elastic dough which you will shape into a sphere 5. Wrap it in food wrap 6 and let it rest for about 30-60 minutes outside the fridge in a cool and dry place.

In the meantime, take care of preparing the béchamel. Pour the butter into a saucepan 7, let it melt gently then add the sifted flour, stirring quickly 8. Once you've got a hazelnut-colored roux, add the boiling milk 9 and stir again.

Season your béchamel with a pinch of pepper 10, salt, a grating of nutmeg 11 and continue cooking, always stirring for 5-6 minutes, until it reaches the right density. At this point, transfer the béchamel into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface 12.

Wash all the vegetables and start cutting them. The carrots should be peeled and cut into julienne 13, for the broccoli only the florets are needed 14, and the onion should be finely sliced 15.

Trim the zucchinis and cut them into julienne as well 16. Clean the mushrooms, slice them 17 and also cut the cherry tomatoes in half 18.

Once all the vegetables are prepared, pour the oil into a pan and first add the carrots 19, cook for a couple of minutes and then add the broccoli too. Deglaze with a bit of water 20, cover with a lid and let cook for 3-4 minutes. At this point, also add the onions 21

and then the zucchinis 22 and mushrooms 23. Let the vegetables cook, stirring occasionally, and only when they are cooked, season with salt and pepper, then turn off the heat and add cherry tomatoes and thyme 24.

By now your egg dough will have rested, take the dough, divide it in half 25, and roll it out with a pasta machine 26. Go over it, reducing the thickness each time 27

until you reach a thickness of about 0.08 inches. Once you have the sheets, make sure to cut out 8 rectangles measuring 6x8 inches 28. At this point, blanch them for 1 minute in slightly salted boiling water 29, drain them and place them on a tray lined with a kitchen towel 30. If you prefer, you can quickly pass the pasta sheets through a bowl with cold water to stop the cooking, then spread the rectangles again on a clean dish towel, but the important thing will be to lay out the various rectangles well stretched out and without overlapping.

Once the pasta is cooked, take a baking dish 12x8 inches, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of béchamel 31 and spread it over the entire surface of the dish. Place 2 rectangles of pasta, side by side, cover with more béchamel, sprinkle with grated cheese 32 and place 1/3 of the vegetables 33.

Cover with another two sheets of pasta 34 and proceed in this way for two more layers, until all the ingredients are used up. When you get to the last layer of béchamel 35, sprinkle with more grated cheese, cover with the vegetables and bake in a preheated conventional oven at 350°F for 20 minutes, then turn on the grill and cook for another 5 minutes. Take your vegetarian lasagna out of the oven 36 and serve it while still hot.

How to store

Vegetarian lasagna can be stored in the fridge covered with plastic wrap for a maximum of 1-2 days. It can be frozen either uncooked or cooked.

Tips

The beauty of vegetables is that there are so many different kinds each season! Let yourself be guided by seasonality to vary the ingredients of your vegetarian lasagna by adding Brussels sprouts, diced pumpkin, fresh peas, julienned turnips, or whatever the garden and imagination suggest to you!

Note

If you follow a vegetarian diet that excludes not only meat and fish but also cheeses made with animal rennet, you can replace the ingredient with a similar cheese made with vegetable rennet.