Thursday, August 11, 2011

Vegetarian Lasagna

If I go out to an Italian restaurant, this is my absolute favorite dish to order but of course its with the meat sauce.  This time I made the sauce with vegetable meat crumbles which can be bought at the local grocery store in the frozen food aisle. This is too good to be true....yay. The taste of the crumbles combined with the marinara sauce is almost the same as meat minus all the fat.


12  lasagna noodles (about 3/4 pound)
2 teaspoons olive oil
12 ounces portobello mushrooms, chopped, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 egg, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 ounces grated part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 2/3 cup)
4 cups Easy Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or store bought marinara sauce

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Cook the noodles al dente according to the directions on the package. Drain them well and spread them out onto aluminum foil or waxed paper to prevent them from sticking.
  • Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, italian seasoning, a few turns of pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of a dish by 12-inch baking dish. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture onto a lasagna noodle. Top with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mushroom mixture, roll the noodle and place it into the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles. Spread the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sauce over the lasagna rolls. Top with grated cheeses, cover loosely with foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more.

Marinara Sauce

1 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
vegetarian meat crumbles, 1/4 cup
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, drained, tomatoes chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

 In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. add the vegetarian meat crumbles and let it cook for a minute or two. Then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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