The Only Vegetarian Lasagna You Need
I’ll always prefer vegetarian lasagna to the traditional recipe. That’s because it’s the perfect comfort food when the weather starts to cool down. Plus, if you make the pasta yourself from scratch, it helps capture the flavors of the various vegetables even better. The nutmeg powder and the squash in the cream make it the kind of dish for just this season.
It tastes like autumn — a bit sweet, but not too sweet. It’s perfect when you have people over for dinner.
- Two large carrots (or three medium)
- One large fennel
- Two leeks
- Three zucchinis
- One medium onion
- One tablespoon of olive oil
- Parmesan cheese to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
If you make the lasagna sheets from scratch, you’ll need 2 3/8 cups of flour, three eggs, and 1 tbsp. olive oil.
For the cream, use 4 tbsp. butter, 4 tbsp. flour, 2½ cups of milk, salt, nutmeg powder, and half of a small squash.
Additionally, you can add mozzarella cheese if you’d like.
Make the fresh pasta first because it needs to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour before you can start rolling out the dough. You can follow these steps here or put all the ingredients in a kneading machine to speed up the process. If you choose the second option, use the fork arm. Also, you might have to turn off the machine several times and use your hands to help bring the dough together.
Separately, steam the squash until soft. Then, mash it until it becomes a paste. I use a food processor to turn it into a soft cream, but if you like it crunchier, you can use a fork.
Clean and cut the carrots, fennel, leeks, zucchini, and onion. I prefer to cut all julienne all the vegetables, but small cubes will be great, too. Remember, this is supposed to be fun and fast. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large saucepan and cook the veggies on medium heat for seven to eight minutes. They should still be a little crunchy.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
For the cream, you need to make a bechamel sauce. Add the nutmeg powder to the sauce to taste. When the sauce is ready, remove from heat and mix in the mashed squash until you get a homogeneous cream. I usually add about 3-4 tablespoons because I don’t want the lasagna to be too sweet.
Time to make the lasagna sheets and to put all the ingredients together. Smear a baking tray with cream and arrange the layers of lasagna with pasta, cream, vegetables, mozzarella (if you like it), and some Parmesan. The last layer should be lasagna sheets covered with a thick coat of cream and some Parmesan on top. You’ll love that crust!
Bake the lasagna in the oven at 180 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes.
Tips and tricks:
Parmesan cheese helps to balance the sweetness of the squash, so the more squash you add, the more Parmesan should go in between the layers. But, if you like it sweet, only add Parmesan on top.
Mozzarella cheese is an optional ingredient in this recipe. If you love vegetables and want to enjoy their full taste, you might want to skip the extra cheese.
If you have zucchini flowers, add them to the pan with the rest of the vegetables one minute before removing them from heat. The flowers are tasty, super healthy, and add extra flavor to the lasagna.