AN OSR ORIGINAL RECIPE:
Let’s face it, making homemade lasagna is a labor of love. But once it’s done, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. It’s a great make-ahead dinner, a complete meal in a single pan, the leftovers might outshine the first go-around, and nothing beats it on a cold winter night. This recipe has layers upon layers of flavor and a no-fail noodle prep technique. I promise you, it’s worth the effort!
- 12-15 c. water
- 12 oz. uncooked lasagna noodles (not "no-boil")
- 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 16 oz. sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 3 large or 5 small garlic cloves, minced or grated, divided
- 3.5 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper, divided
- 2 medium bunches broccoli rabe or Swiss chard, thick stems removed, leaves/buds chopped
- 1 large egg
- 1 c. ricotta cheese
- 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- ½ c. dry white wine (something you would also drink)
- 1 15oz. can Italian-style tomato sauce (see TIP A below)
- ¾ c. grated fontina cheese
- 1.5 tbsp. Homemade Za'atar Seasoning Blend (click for recipe or see TIP B)
- Bring water and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Lay uncooked lasagna noodles in a deep 9x13-inch baking dish. Pour the salted boiling water over the lasagna noodles so that they are all fully submerged. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the water and gently turn the noodles over in the pan allowing the oil to move between the layers. Let the noodles soak in the water at room temperature for 15 minutes or until they become slightly pliable but not fully cooked. After 15 minutes, remove the noodles from the water and place them in a single layer on sheets of parchment paper. Discard remaining water.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a dutch oven or large, high-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. Sauté for 10-12 minutes or until the mushrooms and onion release most of their water and the pan returns to mostly dry. Once done, transfer the mushroom mixture to a small bowl and return the pan to the stovetop.
- Reduce the heat under the pan to medium-low and add another 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add chopped broccoli rabe or chard, remaining garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper to pan. Stir and let the greens wilt down for about 5-6 minutes.Then remove the pan from the heat and set it aside until ready to use.
- Beat the egg in a small to medium-size mixing bowl. Then add the ricotta cheese, goat cheese, wine, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Stir or whisk to fully combine all ingredients and set aside.
- Now comes the fun part! Lightly grease an 8x11-inch baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil. Spread one-fourth of the tomato sauce across the bottom of the pan and begin to build the lasagna in the following manner:
- - Section 1: single layer of pasta followed by half of the mushroom mixture, a third of the soft cheese mixture, and a third of the za'atar.
- - Section 2: single layer of pasta followed by another fourth of the tomato sauce, all of the wilted greens mixture, another third of the soft cheese mixture, and another third of the za'atar.
- - Section 3: single layer of pasta followed by another fourth of the tomato sauce, the remaining mushroom mixture, the remaining soft cheese mixture, and the remaining za'atar.
- - Section 4 (Top Crust): single layer of pasta followed by the remaining tomato sauce and all of the fontina cheese.
- Tent a piece of aluminum foil over the lasagna and let it bake in a pre-heated 375° oven for 35-40 minutes. Then remove the foil and return the lasagna to the oven for an additional 12-15 minutes. Once done, take the lasagna from the oven and let it sit at room temperature for at least 10-15 minutes before cutting into it or serving. This will allow the pasta and vegetables to re-absorb some of the juices and help keep your lasagna stacked high. You may freeze the lasagna (uncooked) for up to 1 month if adequately covered and protected from freezer burn. See TIP C below.
TIP B: If you haven't done so already, then I highly recommend making a jar of Homemade Za'atar to be your good-on-anything seasoning of 2018. That said, if you just want to get this lasagna in the oven or freezer and be done, then you can prep this easy substitute: 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest, 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Use all of the mixture in the place of the recommended 1.5 tablespoons za'atar.
TIP C: Lasagna is a great dish (maybe the best ever) to make-ahead, freeze, and bake later. The trick is to ensure that you adequately protect the lasagna from freezer burn (i.e. exposure to air) while in the freezer. To do so, first wrap the entire dish all the way around in plastic wrap and ensure that the wrap touches the top of the lasagna to the corners and edges. Then cover the plastic wrap with a layer of aluminum foil—again, all the way around—to form a second protective barrier. Bake the lasagna within 1 month of freezing. Allow approximately 48 hours for the lasagna to fully defrost in the fridge before baking. Unwrap the plastic wrap layer and bake according to the instructions above.
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