Recipe by Jess March
I came up with this recipe on my own after taking the best from several others I'd tried. The last time I made this for a party, everyone went crazy for it. I received two of the best compliments I’ve ever received for my cooking. One person told me it was the best lasagna he’d tasted in his life. The other person, an Italian woman, told me this was better than her mother’s recipe. On that note, here is the recipe which I prefer to make vegetarian but with the meat variation mentioned at the bottom. Please note that I use ingredients and quantities "by feeling" for this recipe but I've done my best to give you exact measurements. Feel free to contact me with questions.
Top Review by samanthasharse
Well, I dirtied lots of dishes, but it was well worth it. The goat cheese bechamel is fantastic. I'll have to look for other dishes to use this with. I'm not a tofu lover, but I still wanted to protein, so I used meatless ground (soy curd) instead. You mix it into the sauce just before you're ready to build your lasagna - love it! I have a vegetarian coming for dinner. I think I'm going to have to convince her know there's no meat. My little ones aren't eating solids yet, but if they aren't veggie lovers, I'll use this dish to disguise veggies too! Thanks for the great recipe!
- 1 (16 ounce) box lasagna noodles, ready to cook, no pre-boiling necessary
- 2 onions
- 3 -4 fresh garlic cloves (pressed or minced)
- 2 zucchini (courgettes)
- 1 (16 ounce) package mushrooms (the browner the color, the tastier they will be)
- 1 (12 ounce) package tofu (optional)
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 (5 ounce) container soft fresh goat cheese (about 1 cup's worth)
- 2 1⁄2 cups tomato puree (or you can combine tomato paste with diced tomatoes)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons flour
- 1 bay leaf
- dried oregano
- dried basil
- fresh basil
- chili powder (Pili-Pili)
Directions See How It's Made
- For this recipe, you are essentially just creating the different elements for the lasagna and then layering them. There is a tomato sauce layer, a pasta layer, a béchamel sauce layer, and a cheese layer.
- Saute the garlic and onion in a large, wide bottomed saucepan.
- Meanwhile chop up your zucchini, mushrooms, and tofu, if using. Size is what you prefer. You can put them through a food processor if you are running short on time or better yet, pass this job to your lowly sous-chef.
- When the onions are nearly softened, add the chopped veggies (and tofu) to the saucepan.
- Once the vegetables are somewhat softened, add the tomato puree, bay leaf, oregano, dried basil, chili powder, salt and pepper. Taste as you go for your preference in saltiness and spiciness. Remember, ambitious guests can always add more spice at the table.
- Bring the tomato sauce to a simmer and then keep it aside on a very low heat.
- Now create the béchamel sauce. Melt the butter into a saucepan and then slowly add the flour, stirring constantly as you go.
- Once the butter and flour are blended, slowly add the milk, again stirring as you do.
- Now add the softened goat cheese to the mixture and stir until blended. Spice the sauce with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Lastly, let simmer until thickened. Add milk if it thickens too quickly (you want a gravy consistency).
- Now you are ready for assembly. Pour a spoonful of sauce onto the bottom of a large (9x13 inch) baking dish (glass or aluminum) to just cover the surface. Then add a layer of lasagna noodles, a layer of sauce, a layer of mozzarella, and then another layer of lasagna. For the next layer, add a thick layer of the goat cheese bechemal sauce. Continue layering, adding in fresh basil leaves as you like in the middle layers. Finish off with a layer of lasagna topped with mozzarella.
- Bake about 25 minutes in ? degree oven and serve to great delight.
- NOTE: For a more robust tomato sauce, you can use Alan Leonetti's marinara sauce recipe (Recipe #84217), especially if you've made it in advance and frozen it.
- NOTE: Variation With Ground Beef: To make a more traditional meat lasagna I follow the same recipe as above but I omit the tofu (of course!) and the goat cheese. I still use the mushroom and courgette/zucchini but I cut back on the amount. I brown the beef in a separate pan and then combine it in the layer of tomato and vegetable sauce. The addition of the courgette/zucchini and mushroom in with the meat it usually a welcome twist!