When we have family dinners we have to ensure that there are at least three items on the table that are vegetarian friendly so my mother can feel that she has had a good meal just like us swine and cow killers. Being a Jamaican Vegetarian, not living in Kingston, leaves your palette very underwhelmed as most restaurants believe that chick peas, ackee and steamed vegetables are all it takes to satisfy vegetarian foodies. This is close to the top of my favorite recipe of this month one that will be on our family table for years to come.
Everyone loves lasagna and its wonderful layering of flavor traditionally, meat sauce, pasta and cheese, baked to sizzling perfection. Since the flavors of the cheese and meat sauce are so rich, I had to try to achieve that same richness using subtle vegetables. For the sauce I made a delicious homemade cream of mushroom sauce. Grilling also imparts lovely flavors on vegetables, so that’s another layer of flavor; sautéing, grilling, pureeing and finally baking all in one perfect recipe.
I personally dislike premade dried lasagna pasta, maybe because I always end up overcooking them, and the no boil ones I hate even more. I do love dried penne, spaghetti and macaroni, but the lasagna pasta always gets the best of me. The only issue I had with this homemade pasta was the fact that I had to roll it by hand, so it was just a tad bit thick, nothing too crazy but not the thickness that you are used to with dried lasagna pasta. After making this homemade version it’s safe to say once I have the extra time, I will never buy dried lasagna pasta again. I am for sure investing in a pasta machine to help roll out my dough to the perfect thickness.
This is truly vegetable lasagna as it has veggies at every stage; in the sauce, pasta and as the filling. Any vegetarian and even a meat eater will love it.
Ingredients (Printable recipe)
Cream of mushroom sauce:
1 lb mushroom
2 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoon herb butter
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
3 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
4 large eggs
4 cups flour
Grilled egg plant
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh mozzarella slices
For the spinach lasagna pasta
- Steam the spinach and then allow to completely cool
- Blend spinach, oil, garlic and salt until it’s a paste
- Pour a flour mound onto a work surface and create a well in the center
- In the center place the 4 eggs and the spinach mixture
- Beat the eggs in the center and then slowly incorporate the flour into the center
- Beat and incorporate until you have blended in the flour and begin to knead
- Knead for 6 to 10 minutes, you may or may not use all the flour
- When the dough is just slightly sticky and elastic roll it into a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- After the 30 minutes are up cut the dough into four pieces and roll into long strips as thin as possible, fold into small rectangle and re-roll into a long strip for a second time the strips should be aprox 20 inches long and 4 inches wide, cut along the center to make two long strips
- Drape over a wooden spoon to air dry for 20 minutes.
For the Cream of Mushroom sauce
- Melt the butter and oil in saucepan on high heat
- Chop the clean mushroom tops and stems and sauté in the butter/oil
- After mushrooms are browned add the shallots and cook till soft
- Add salt, sugar, milk and cream
- Cover lower heat and let the sauce thicken for about 8 minutes
- Blend the mixture in a blender and its ready for use
- Slice the eggplant and zucchini drizzle with oil and salt and grill on both sides
- Grill the corn until charred and cooked then slice the roasted kernels off
- Cut the pasta to size depending on the size dish you have
- To assemble the lasagna, start by placing some sauce at the bottom of the baking dish
- Layer with overlapping lasagna sheets, follow with a layer of veggies cheese and more sauce
- Repeat until you have filled the dish, topping the last layer of pasta with sauce and cheese
- Bake in a 350 degree oven until the top is golden brown about 40 minutes, allow to cool slightly before cutting
- If you don't like crispy golden cheese on top like I do, add the last layer of pasta and sauce but no cheese, cover in foil and bake for the 40 minutes, after the 40 minutes remove the foil add the cheese and let is melt for 5 minutes in the oven
- I recommend using a pasta machine for this. I will be purchasing the kitchen aid blender attachment.
So this month was all vegeterian dishes check them out
In case you missed it...
Jamaican Easter Bundt bun
Meatless stew peas
Crispy fried okra
Spinach Mushroom Pizza
Pumpkin cabbage Dumplings
Veggie fruit pops
Potato Asparagus Alfredo pizza
Broccoli and cheese pull apart bread