Spring Garden Lasagna


Spring Garden Lasagna
8-10 servings
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1 cup packed fresh bail leaves
1/2 cup raw baby spinach leave, plus 1 pound baby spinach blanched, squeezed dry
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups ricotta cheese
1 egg
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick, cooked until golden brown
1 jar (16-ounce) roasted red bell peppers, drained, sliced 1/4-inch thick
6 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles, torn into rough 2-inch pieces
4 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

In a blender, combine basil, raw spinach, 1/2 teaspoon garlic and oil; process until thick sauce forms. Add Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt and pepper. In bowl, combine ricotta, egg, salt and pepper.

In saucepan over medium-heat, melt butter. Cook shallots 4 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon garlic and flour; cook 1 minute. Stir in milk' cook on medium-high heat 8-10 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool 15 minutes. Stir in basil puree. In separate bowl, combine mushrooms, bell peppers, blanched spinach, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter 3 1/1 quarter shallow dutch oven. Spread 1/2 cup sauce on bottom of pot; arrange single layer of torn noodles on sauce. Top with 1/2 cup ricotta mixture, 1 cup vegetable mixture, 1/2 cup sauce and 1 cup mozzarella. Layer noodles, ricotta, vegetables, sauce and mozzarella 2 more times, then add layer of noodles, ricotta, vegetables and noodles. Spread remaining sauce on top; sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups mozzarella. Cover; bake 45 minutes. Uncover bake 15 minutes more.