CLASSIC pasta vegetable lasagne
         

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The key to a flavorful, as opposed to bland, vegetable lasagne is to boost the flavor of the vegetables by adding garlic, oil and perhaps a touch of red pepper flakes, and by cooking each of the vegetables until they totally absorb the flavors --- in other words cook the vegetables enough.

The other key to this sauce is that it is modular to a certain extent. We call for cauliflower or broccoli, carrots for color and zucchini. One could substitute eggplant, asparagus, spinach or swiss chard.

for the sauce:

  • six cloves of garlic
  • one pound zucchini, washed and cut into 1/4 inch discs
  • one pound carrots, peeled, washed and cut into one-quarter inch discs
  • one pound cauliflower or broccoli
  • six tablespoons olive oil
  • one-quarter onion, finely chopped
  • one and one-half cup freshly grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper
  • touch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • bechamel sauce

Use the flowers of the broccoli or cauliflower. Parboil them in water until they are tender but not soft. Remove and coarsely chop them.

In a saute pan, over medium heat, put in two tablespoons of olive oil and two cloves of garlic. After ten seconds add the carrots. Saute until the carrots are starting to brown, but not soft. Salt. Remove to a mixing bowl.

In the same saute pan, put in two tablespoons of olive oil and two cloves of garlic and the onions. (plus a touch of red pepper flakes if you desire). Saute for two minutes, and then add the zucchini. Cook them until they are slightly brown, but not too soft. Salt and add to a second mixing bowl.

In the saute pan, put in two tablespoons of olive, oil and two cloves of garlic over medium heat. Saute ten seconds and then add the chopped broccoli (cauliflower). Saute until tender, but not too soft. salt and put in a third mixing bowl.

Follow the instructions in how to make lasagne. Butter the bottom of the baking dish, Add a tablespoon of the bechamel sauce. The target is a six level lasagne (seven payers of pasta). Put one-half the zucchini on the first layer, add two tablespoons of bechamel, or enough to fill in all the gaps, sprinkle with parmesan.

Put half the carrot mixture on the next level, add the bechamel and sprinkle with parmesan. The third layer is half the cauliflower/broccoli, plus bechamel and sprinkled cheese.

Repeat for the next three layers. Put a touch of the bechamel and a sprinkle of cheese over the top layer of pasta.

Cover loosely with foil and cook at 400 degrees for twenty to thirty minutes.


 

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