I have really never been a big fan of Italian food. I have issues with tomato sauce. I don't care for Alfredo sauce much either. There are some Italian dishes that I do crave every once in awhile. Lasagna is one of them.
Before I was ever interested in cooking, I had always heard what a pain in the butt making lasagna was, how expensive, blah blah blah. I even feared making it the first time. But it really isn't a big deal to put together. It's a one-dish meal, comfort food, and use-what-you-have-on-hand type of dishes that appeals to me.
Like I have mentioned before, I have issues with tomatoes and The Heartburn Monster, so I usually tend to shy away from tomato acid heavy dishes. I think I have mentioned before that ground beef isn't a favorite either (I just don't care for the taste or texture, so I always try to find ways around it).
This recipe solves the ground beef issue. The Heartburn Monster will still lay in wait after consumption...still have not found a way around that issue. I tend to go insanely overboard with cheese (you can never have too much cheese, right?) in almost any dish, be it pizza, tacos, grilled cheese, and of course...lasagna.
The reason this is not a true vegetarian lasagna? There is one egg used. Oh, and goat cheese. If you wanted to make this a real vegetarian lasagna, you could simply omit the egg and goat cheese. I like the extra creaminess it adds, but it would be really good without it too. I am not up-to-speed on what a vegan/vegetarian can or can not eat, so I'm not sure if cheese is included in the 'don't' item list.
This particular recipe makes a humongous 9x13 pan of good eating. You could prepare 2 smaller pans (or 3 loaf-sized pans) and freeze what you don't want to cook right away and save it for a quick dinner another night.
|Combine ricotta & spices in your magic bowl.|
|Add a beaten egg.|
|Add a log of creamy goat cheese; plain or herbified will work.|
|Combine both pasta sauces in another magic bowl.|
|Schmear some pasta sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.|
|Top with 3 noodles.|
|Spread some cheesy love on top of the noodles.|
|Sprinkle with crumbled veggie burger.|
|Sprinkle in some artichoke hearts.|
|Then the shrooms...|
|A smattering of pasta sauce...|
|Repeat two more times and top off with the last three noodles.|
|Top off with any remaining pasta sauce and cheese. Cover with foil and pop into the oven.|
|Lasagna Heaven Awaits...|
Almost Vegetarian Lasagna
15 oz. ricotta cheese
Basil, oregano, garlic powder to taste (I eyeball about one tablespoon per)
4 oz. goat cheese, room temperature
1 jar prepared pasta sauce with chunky vegetables
1 jar prepared vodka sauce
1 package no-cook lasagna noodles
1 package any brand Veggie burgers (like Morningstar Farms or Boca Burgers)
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1 pint sliced mushrooms
2-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Thaw burgers according to manufacturer's instructions. Crumble into small pieces. Set aside.
Mix ricotta, spices, egg and goat cheese in a small bowl. Set aside.
Combine jarred pasta sauces in another bowl. Set aside.
Place 1/2 cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Line dish with one layer of lasagna noodles.
Top lasagna noodles with 1/2 cup ricotta cheese mixture, 1/2 cup crumbled burgers, 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, 1/2 cup mushrooms, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 cup pasta sauce. Repeat these steps two more times (which leaves you with 3 noodles left for the top).
Top with any remaining pasta sauce & cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350°F approximately 30 minutes.
Remove foil and continue to bake until browned, approximately 20 minutes.