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Old 04-28-2006, 11:37 AM   #11
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I do not like Lasagna period, or I should say I used to not like lasagna, as well as many other Italian dishes. Meat and cheese is just not my cup of tea.

So about the lasagna, i did not like it until i was given this recipe for vegetarian lasagna, it is out of this world.

Recipe:

TRICOLOR LASAGNA

(Courtesy of chef Rich)

"Lasagne al Forno Tricolore con Quattro Formaggio" (13 x 9 x 3 baking dish)

~preheat oven to 325 deg. F.~

***********************************************

------- The Filling --------

3 lbs. part skim ricotta
3 C. grated parmigiano reggianito from Argentina (cheaper version of Parmigiano Reggiano if desired)
3 extra large whole org. eggs
2 tsp. sea salt

1 lb. frozen chopped spinach, squeezed very dry
1 lb. roasted red peppers, drained and squeezed very dry

15-16 Barilla brand No-boil lasagna noodles

Blend the ricotta, parmigiano, eggs and salt in a mixer or food processor until light and fluffy. Divide this filling into three
equal portions. Puree the roasted peppers in the food processor bowl and whisk into one of the filling mixtures (red) until thoroughly mixed. Rinse the food processor bowl and dry. Puree the drained spinach and whisk this into another one of the filling mixtures (green) until thoroughly mixed. Leave the third filling mixture white.

-------- The balsamella --------

2 T. butter
2 T. xv olive oil
4 T. org. white rice flour (or AP flour)
6 C. 2% low fat milk
2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 tsp. white pepper

Melt the butter in the olive oil in a heavy 3 Qt. saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk, slowly at first, until all the milk is added. Return to the heat and bring to a scald, still stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened, stirring often. Season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir, check seasonings and correct if necessary and remove from the heat. Yields about 5-5 1/2 cups.

-------- The topping --------

1 C. parmigiano reggianito
1 1/2 T. dried Turkish oregano
1 1/2 C. shredded fontina cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded asiago cheese

To assemble and bake the lasagna, spray the bottom and sides of the baking dish with Pam olive oil spray. Ladle about 1 cup of the balsamella in the bottom and spread around evenly. Place 3-4 noodles over the white sauce, not overlapping too much as the noodles expand somewhat. Spread the red ricotta mixture over this layer of noodles. Top with another cup of balsamella and a layer of 4 more noodles (typically the sides of the pan slope outward so you can fit more noodles on the upper layers). Spread the white ricotta mixture on this layer and top with another cup of balsamella. Place 4 more noodles over this layer and spread the green ricotta mixture on top of these noodles. Cover with another cup or so of the balsamella.
Top with 4 more noodles and the remaining balsamella. Mix the parmigiano and the oregano and sprinkle over the white sauce. Spread the shredded fontina and asiago evenly over the top and spray with a little more olive oil Pam until glistening.

Place in the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour until set (knife comes out clean) and top is golden brown and crispy. Cool for 15 minutes before serving or serve at room temp. Cool completely, wrap and freeze for reheating later.

**********************************************


I usually oven bake peppers, as it is simply easier, and easy to remove skin before chopping them up. Also I add stewed mushroom to the cheese layer. I sauté some onion add mushrooms, when mushrooms let out the liquid I stir and add some sour cream and let it cook till soft, add spices of your liking. I try to cook till all the liquid is gone, than puree the mixture in the same manner as peppers and spinach. Also I add couple of tablespoons of tomato paste to pepper/ricotta mixture to make it look redder. Also none of those cheeses are available in kosher variety so I adapt to what is available. Of course, it goes without saying that spices could be adjusted to your taste, i.e. I like some garlic added. Oh yean and I double the portion so I can freeze the leftovers and just warm them up.


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Old 04-28-2006, 11:45 AM   #12
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I'm with Charlie and Breezy and Liz ....

I now always use Barilla no boil noodles and I freeze leftovers in portioned containers and microwave them for lunch or dinner later.
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:12 PM   #13
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When I make lasagna, I make a big batch and put it in 2-3 containers. We cook one, give one to my daughter, and freeze the other for later.
If you cook it first, then freeze, then reheat, it gets too dry.
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:20 PM   #14
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Charlie and others are talking about apples and oranges. Of course, if you want individual portions you MUST cook it first.
It is fresh, bubbly and golden when cooked fresh for the table after being frozen uncooked.
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Old 04-28-2006, 02:08 PM   #15
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I don't have room in my freezer for a whole uncooked lasagna
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Old 04-28-2006, 02:19 PM   #16
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Which is another WONDERFUL reason for cooking it & then freezing it in individually-wrapped portions. I can't tell you how lovely it is to have a taste for lasagna for lunch or dinner & just be able to pull out one or two portions, unwrap them, stick them in the microwave, & about 4-5 minutes later have it hot, delicious, & ready.
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Old 04-28-2006, 02:28 PM   #17
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I'm surprised at the number of people that use no-boil noodles. I use regular noodles, add some extra tomato sauce. The noodles cook while they bake. I've never done it any other way. I guess I'm in the minority.
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:31 AM   #18
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thanks for the tips guys. i should clarify, the reason i was thinking of assembling it then freezing is because i work overnights a few nights a week, then go straight to college classes after work in the morning. by the time i get home, i just want to take a long nap, rather than make dinner my boyfriend would starve then though, and by the time i wake up i'm starving too becuase i probably haven't eaten lunch at all. so i figure by assembling then freezing, he can put it in the oven to cook, then wake me up when it's done. it's amazing how the extra half hour or hour of sleep keeps the crabby mood away . i wound up making a big batch of meat sauce, so maybe i'll try a couple of the different suggestions, though i like the idea of freezing individual portions, pure genious .
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:43 AM   #19
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I have heard from very reputable chefs that with just a little extra liquid you can use regular noodles and they will cook with the lasagna.
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Old 04-30-2006, 11:15 AM   #20
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I freeze it unbaked.
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