Meatless meals are a deliciously great way to save a little money in your grocery budget. I probably prepare at least one a week. This lasagna recipe is so hearty, not to mention downright tasty, you won't miss the meat at all.
1 small onion, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 red, yellow, or orange pepper, finely chopped
2 cups broccoli florets, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 Tbs. oil
2 15oz. cans Italian style diced tomatoes, undrained
16oz. tub small curd cottage cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
3 cups grated mozzarella, divided
1 recipe béchamel sauce
1 box lasagna noodles
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
Start by making the vegetable ragout. In a large heavy pot heat oil and sauté the diced vegetables together with the garlic, oregano and 2 tsp. basil until tender. Add diced tomatoes. Combine well, lower heat, cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil for the noodles. When water comes to boil, turn off the heat, add noodles and allow to soak and soften. Make the béchamel and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese, set aside. In a small mixing bowl combine cottage cheese with eggs, basil, salt and pepper.
Spray a 9" X 13" pan well with non-stick cooking spray. Place an even layer of noodles in the bottom.
Spoon half the ragout on and sprinkle with one cup of cheese. Add another layer of noodles.
Top with half the cottage cheese mixture, half the béchamel sauce.
Repeat another layer of noodles and ragout with one cup of cheese. Repeat a layer of noodles with the cottage cheese mixture and béchamel. Sprinkle with remaining half cup of cheese.
Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 400° oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes longer. Remover from oven, sprinkle with parmesan. Allow to cool 15 to 20 minutes, cut and serve.
This makes a very full and very heavy pan of lasagna. I set my pan on a baking sheet to catch drips and avoid a mess in the bottom of the oven. This one is definitely Sunday dinner or special occasion worthy. You can truly feed a crowd with this and the leftovers reheat nicely too.