Lasagna

Lasagna recipes are a dime a dozen; everyone seems to have a favorite. There are tons of varieties, some of which are easier to make than others. Here at Organic Authority, we’ve got the perfect recipe for you. It’s fully customizable, which means that you can mix and match with seasonal vegetables to make a version of this hearty, healthy dish all year long.

The Basic Recipe

The basic lasagna recipe involves making a marinara sauce and a béchamel sauce. If you already have a favorite marinara sauce — be it a tried and true recipe or a favorite organic jarred sauce — feel free to use that.

For the marinara sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
pinch of salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can tomato paste
1 large can tomatoes

For the béchamel
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper 

For the lasagna
1 box organic whole-wheat no-boil lasagna noodles 
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 

The variable
Vegetables… we’ll get to that in a minute

First, make the marinara sauce. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion to the oil with the salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the clove of garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste. Stir to combine. Add a can of water and the tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Use an immersion blender to purée the sauce. Set aside.

For the béchamel, whisk together the butter and the flour in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to come to room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients. When ready to use, heat the cup of milk in another saucepan or in the microwave. Add the milk, by the tablespoon at first, whisking all the while. Allowing the roux to come to room temperature is the fool-proof secret to a rich, creamy béchamel. Season the béchamel and set aside.

Once these sauces are prepared, you’re ready for assembly. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a dollop of tomato sauce in the lasagna pan and smooth it over the bottom of the pan. Place a layer of lasagna noodles over this thin layer of sauce. Add a layer of tomato sauce over the top. Next, add a layer of vegetables. Top this with a layer of béchamel. Add a layer of noodles. Continue layering — tomato sauce, vegetables, béchamel, noodles — until you run out of ingredients. Make sure that the top layer is not noodles. 

Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 30 minutes. At this point, you can refrigerate or freeze the lasagna to eat another day, or you can continue with the recipe.

When ready to serve, sprinkle the cheese over the top of the lasagna. Bake at 400 degrees F until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

The Variable

What’s great about this lasagna is that you can use any combination of vegetables to make it delicious and seasonal all year long. Here are some of our favorite combinations; feel free to come up with your own!

  • Summer: 1 small eggplant, 1 small zucchini, 2 cups fresh mushrooms
    Dice the eggplant and zucchini, and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Place in one layer in a baking pan and roast at 400 degrees F, tossing occasionally, until soft and browned, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the mushrooms. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, and add the mushrooms by the handful, browning them and then pushing them to the outsides of the pan to make room for more. When all of the mushrooms are browned, combine them with the other vegetables for the vegetable layer.
  • Fall: 1 butternut squash, 2 cups fresh mushrooms, 1 can black beans
    Dice the squash and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Place in one layer in a baking pan and roast at 400 degrees F, tossing occasionally, until soft and browned, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the mushrooms. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, and add the mushrooms by the handful, browning them and then pushing them to the outsides of the pan to make room for more. When all of the mushrooms are browned, combine them with the squash. Rinse the beans and add them to the other vegetables for the vegetable layer.
  • Winter: 1 head broccoli, 1 head cauliflower
    Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into small florets. Remove the tough half-inch at the base of the stem. Peel the thicker part of the stem. Chop the remaining stem into a small dice. Toss the florets and chopped stem with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Place in one layer in a baking pan and roast at 400 degrees F, tossing occasionally, until soft and browned, about 30 minutes.
  • Spring: 6 ounces baby spinach, 1 cup fresh peas, 2 cups fresh mushrooms
    Chop the mushrooms. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, and add the mushrooms by the handful, browning them and then pushing them to the outsides of the pan to make room for more. When all of the mushrooms are browned, add the fresh peas, spinach and 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Cover and steam for about 5 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the peas are bright green. Remove the lid and sauté to allow the extra moisture to evaporate. Season to taste with salt.

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