French Lasagna

  • Yield 6 to 8 servings

This lasagna is packed with healthy vegetables and a creamy cheese sauce is used in place of the traditional red sauce.

Ingredients

French Lasagna:
8 ounces lasagna noodles
3 quarts boiling water
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 cup chopped onion
4 -- garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon tarragon
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups ricotta cheese
16 ounces small curd cottage cheese
4 -- eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups packed chopped fresh spinach
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups (6-ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
-- Bechamel Sauce (below
Bechamel Sauce:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup unbleached white flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon salt
-- Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. To prepare the lasagna.  Cook the lasagna noodles in the water in a 4-quart stockpot until al dente; drain.  Fill the stockpot with cold water.  Place the noodles in the cold water and set aside.  Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, basil and tarragon and saute until the onion begins to brown.  Add the mushrooms and cook until tender, stirring frequently.  Combine the ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, mushroom mixture, spinach, salt, pepper, nutmeg, Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese in a large bowl and mix well.  Brush a small amount of Bechamel Sauce over the bottom of a 9×12-inch baking dish to cover.  Drain the lasagna noodles.  Arrange 1/3 of the lasagna noodles in the bottom of the dish.  Layer with the cheese mixture and remaining noodles 1/2 at at time.  Top with remaining Bechamel Sauce.  Sprinkle evenly with the remaining mozzarella cheese.  Bake, covered, at 375F for 30 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  No-cook noodles may be used.
  2. To prepare the Bechamel Sauce.  Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan or 10-inch cast-iron skillet.  Add the unbleached white flour and cook over low heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the milk gradually, stirring constantly.  Add the cheese, salt and pepper.  Cook until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly.  Thin the sauce with additional milk if necessary.  Remove from heat.

 

Recipe reprinted with permission from Betty Sim’s Southern Scrumptious Entertains (Scrumptious, Inc., Decatur, Alabama, 2002).

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