no-boil noodle vegetarian lasagna?

"Never say never" is a good motto for the kitchen. The problem with whole wheat lasagna noodle production for which we are famous, at least in our own minds and in those of a few friends, is that making them is hard work. So no frequent lasagna. Once upon a time Ani picked up some 365 Whole Foods no boil lasagna retangles which never-no-boil bob undoubtedly complained about during the purchase. She used half (?) the box for some forgotten recipe and the rest were just hanging around for a lengthy rest. Until Ani got the idea to attack the big eggplants we had bought to create some as yet unknown fresh ingredient dish with. Healthy cuisine is often on the mind of aging bob. Vegetarian lasagna not so much, because of our authentic lasagna prejudice.

We had 3 smallish (for zucchini) zucchini left in the fridge and a whole bunch of big portobello mushrooms, plus 3 medium tomatoes on the vine, so with a few minor additions, the main lineup was set. Throw in a carton of chopped tomatoes for the sauce magic. Choose the right sized pyrex (or other) baking dish. We used our 7"x7" glass dish. This can be assembled in advance and baked when convenient.

So lasagna is a dish with infinite variations and we are not comfortable being lasagna snobs, which we are of course. But this experiment was eye opening, not only for no-boil noodles but for straying very far from "authentic lasagna". This is absolutely delicious. All three of us really loved it. Ani, myself, Isgouhi. With leftovers for another day.

ingredients

2/3 lb (about 12 3"x6.5" sheets) no boil lasagna noodles
2-3 T olive oil for sauteeing
1 large eggplant (or the equivalent), chopped
3 medium zucchini, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
14 oz crushed tomatoes
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 c bechamel sauce (2 T butter, 2 T flour, 2 c milk)
a cup or so of freshly grated parmigiano and pecorino Romano, half and half, as needed
1 lb portobello mushrooms, peeled and chopped.

instructions

  1. Prep the veggies. Peel the eggplant and chop methodically into cubes about 3/8" (1 cm?) on a side. Chop up the zucchini into similar sized bits. Clean up the shallot and chop. Peel the mushrooms and chop them up. Grate some fresh parmigiano. And pecorino Romano unless you are lazy like we are. See notes.
  2. Prepare the bechamel sauce. Since no one reads these recipes, we won't go into detail, look it up on the web. Set aside.
  3. Saute the mushrooms in 1 T (?) olive oil. Set aside.
  4. Saute the shallots in 2 T (?) olive oil until softened, then soften the garlic, then toss in the eggplant and zucchini and cook down a bit, then add in the fresh and not so fresh tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer together maybe 30 minutes.
  5. Boil some water and put in a shallow pyrex dish to briefly soak the noodles. Soak 2 at a time and dry them off as they are used.
  6. Assembly time.Start with a simple sauce layer on the bottom of the dish spreading around the veggie sauce and putting a noodle layer (we did 2 at a time).
  7. Then spread around some veggie sauce and bechamel sauce mixing them up, then sprinkle some mushrooms around then both parmigiano and then pecorino. Repeat . We did 5 noodle layers, using up the white sauce and the reasonable depth limit on our dish.
  8. Bake at 350 F° for about 45 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes. Serve.

notes

  1. For the dr bob lasagna story consult this review.
  2. You can easily scale this up for more people.
  3. We had a big bag of already grated pecorino romano on hand in the freezer from a cheap Costco purchase we couldn't pass up. We used that.
  4. Illustrations available.
lasagna-veg.htm: 21-feb-2021 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]