vegetarian lasagna help
I'm planning on making a vegetarian lasagna for some vegetarian friends on Saturday evening. I was thinking of doing a combination of roasted delicata squash, sauted mushrooms (crimini, and anything else that looks good at the farmer's market), and braised greens. I'll buy some fresh pasta sheets too. (Do I need to cook the fresh pasta ahead?)
What I'm not sure about is whether to do a bechamel or stick with ricotta and mozzarella. And if I do a bechamel, then do I also add cheese (ricotta, mozzarella and/or parmesan)? And finally, will fresh mozzarella work, or do I have to use the drier shreddable stuff?
I've read a bunch of recipes on epicurious and done some searching here, but haven't found exactly what I'm looking for yet.
Also, if you have any suggestions for other fillings, or particular types of mushrooms to use, please let me know.
Thanks in advance for your help.
thanks to all for your suggestions. I made the lasagna with fresh pasta, ricotta mixed with a couple of eggs, fresh mozzarella, parmesan and layers of roasted delicata squash, braised chard and beet greens, and crimini mushrooms and leeks sauteed in butter and olive oil. I also added a small amount of leftover roasted tomato and pepper sauce, because it seemed a little dry when i was putting it all together.
It was a big hit, and even better the next day.
I've done veggie lasagna with and without the bechamel but what I've found works well for me is using that great mix of mushrooms, including a mix of dried ones, and cooking them simply with olive oil, cream salt and pepper. I then use that as a sort of substitute for the bechamel and it works really well.
I like to use bechamel for the middle layer and red sauce for the top and bottom layers. I make my veggie lasagna with spinach and mushrooms along with ricotta, parm, mozzarella and sometimes feta if I have some on hand I need to get rid of. I recommend the drier mozzarella for lasagna....it's not worth the extra expense of the fresh and the drier melts better IMO. I would not cook the noodles before hand.
re: Janet from Richmond
I like to roast all my veggies beforehand (squash, peppers, onions, eggplant etc.)
I also use ricotta (and sometimes pureed cottage cheese, if we're on a diet here) and shredded moz.
I think my lasagna gets too soggy if i don't roast and use shredded moz. we like the standup effect of the lasagna, even if it is veggies.
I get the non boil noodles but if fresh, you don't have to parboil either. they will help absorb the nice sauce in the dish
I've only had becamel in restaurants and they tend to gross me out half way through my meal, i think it is too rich, and since we are going vegetarian, why not keep it healthier?
I suppose it depends on how heavy you want it to be? I, personally, LOVE ricotta and fresh mozzarella in my lasagna. I will typically roast red peppers, eggplant, portobello mushrooms and squash, add spinach and layer with chopped tomatoes (or a simple tomato sauce), some pesto and maybe a little balsamic. I use parm, mozzarella and ricotta.
I have found that fresh mozzarella is....stringy-er, for lack of a better word.
This sounds good, I might need to make lasagna tonight!!