Veggie Lasagna with Bechamel and Ragu

John has been making our Tuesday night dinners – since I’m in class for 12 hours that day. And I came home to the most amazing veggie lasagna ever! The mushrooms are quartered, so not only do they contrast with everything else in texture, but they feel “meaty”. The ragu has a lot of flavor, and everything comes together so wonderfully – that we ate this lasagna for the next 2 nights without complaints!

Veggie Lasagna – 6 large servings
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups milk
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs portabello mushrooms, stemmed, quartered
1⁄2 lb spinach, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
5 cups whole canned tomatoes, crushed
1 lb no-precook lasagna noodles
14 oz Scarmoza, grated
2 1⁄2 cups Pecorino Romano, grated

Butter a 9x 13 baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Drain sundried tomatoes, chop and set aside.

In a small sauce pan, heat 8 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add shallots and carrots, cook for 5 minutes. Add flour, cook 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer, continue whisking, until thick, about 20 minutes. Add nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil and remaining butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, cook 10 minutes, or until evenly browned. Add sundried tomatoes, spinach, garlic, parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and tomato paste – cook 3 minutes. Add canned tomatoes with juices. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set ragu aside.

Preheat the oven to 375. Spread 2 cups tomato sauce in buttered baking dish. Cover with a layer of noodles. Spread 1 cup béchamel over top; sprinkle with 1⁄2 cup of each cheese and 2 cups tomato sauce. Repeat layering 2 more times. Top with remaining noodles, tomato sauce, béchamel, and cheeses. Bake covered with foil on a baking sheet for 1 hour. Remove foil; raise oven to 500 and bake until top is golden, 5-10 minutes.

Enjoy with spinach salad and buttered ciabatta! If your lucky, you’re significant other will whip some delicious bread up while you were in class/work to go with the lasagna!

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Sorry there isn’t a posed photo of the lasagna to display it’s many layers – but I was starving! And I make it up to you, by displaying my pup in his Halloween costume!

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