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June 4, 2007

Four Cheese Veggie Lasagna

Four Cheese Lasagna

Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food. Noodles and cheese, melding with tomato sauce and Italian herbs hits the spot when you want something hearty and warm. Most families have their own versions of lasagna and their own ideas about what goes into them, which may change over time, or who you are making for, I know mine does. Regardless of what you like in your lasagna you can always tweak a basic lasagna recipe and add what you like.

A while back a saw an episode of The Barefoot Contessa where Ina made a lasagna with goat cheese. Now my adoration of goat cheese has been mentioned here many times before and will most likely be mentioned again, but I never got around to actually trying it until the other day and I must say I was highly impressed! It's added a creamy, tangy background that melded just perfectly with the Italian seasoning and tomatoes. Though I've never tried it I would hazard a guess that Feta would be good as well. I may just have to try that notion the next time I make lasagna.

Cooking is all about tweaking here and there and adding ingredients that speak to you. Most importantly you should have fun, while making something that you enjoy. Lasagna is the perfect dish for experimentation and this Four Cheese Veggie Lasagna could be tweaked infinite ways. What sounds good to you?

Oh and this lasagna makes superb leftovers! But then again lasagnas usually do! ;o)

Four Cheese Lasagna Baked

What You'll Need:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 small package of mushrooms, sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons of dried oregano
2 - 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes, drained
1 - 12 ounce package of bionaturæ lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
1 - 15 ounce container of ricotta cheese (I used fat free)
1 - 4 ounce container of goat cheese, crumbled
Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a large skillet over medium heat sauté onion and mushrooms in a little extra virgin olive oil until tender and then stir in garlic and cook until garlic is done. (Roughly 1-2 minutes.) Add a pinch of sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, basil and oregano and stir. Next add drained tomatoes and stir to mix. Remove from heat and set aside.

While your veggies are sautéing cook 1 package of bionaturæ lasagna noodles according to package directions to al dente, drain and set aside. (Note: Any lasagna noodle will do, but I like the bionaturæ lasagna noodles because they are the perfect size for an 8X8 dish without having to be cut!)

Brush an 8X8 glass dish with extra virgin olive oil to prevent sticking and follow the steps below.

Step One:

Four Cheese Lasagna Step One

Place two noodles in the bottom of the dish. (Note: As you add layers you may add three noodles to subsequent layers because most dishes have a slight slope to them and get wider as they approach the top.)

Step Two:

Four Cheese Lasagna Step Two

Add a layer of ricotta cheese.

Step Three:

Four Cheese Lasagna Step Three

Add a layer of the veggie mixture, spreading it out to cover the ricotta.

Step Four:

Four Cheese Lasagna Step Four

Sprinkle some parmesan over the veggie layer.

Step Five:

Four Cheese Lasagna Step Step Five

Next add some goat cheese crumbles.

Step Six:

Four Cheese Lasagna Step Six

And lastly add a layer of mozzarella. (Note: I used pearline fresh mozzarella and like the name suggests, it's simple little balls of mozzarella about the size of a pearl. You can use whatever type of mozzarella you have on hand and tear it if it's fresh mozzarella or shred it if it's from a block. I ran out of pearline so for the top layer I tore some fresh mozzarella from the ball.)

Next repeat steps one through six until you get to the top of your dish.

On your top layer you do NOT want to put a layer of ricotta, nor do you want to put goat cheese. The top layer consists of a layer of noodles, topped with a layer of veggie mixture, sprinkled with parmesan and mozzarella.

Four Cheese Lasagna Ready For The Oven

Place lasagna in the oven on a baking sheet in case it bubbles over. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until cheese on top slightly browns. Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve with a tossed salad and/or garlic bread.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Posted by Dianne at June 4, 2007 12:05 PM

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Wow, Dianne! My kind of lasagna - loaded with cheese!

Posted by: Patricia Scarpin at June 5, 2007 8:34 AM

Cheese is always a good thing! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at June 6, 2007 7:33 AM

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