Ladies, isn’t it wonderful when your guy cooks for you? I’m not talking the occasional scrambled eggs; what better way to relax and feel spoiled than to kick back, do your nails and wait for dinner to be served by someone other than you for once? Fortunately for me, Aaron is a wonderful cook. Granted, he is not the speediest of chefs, but the finished product is always fabulous. He’s perfected his own lasagna recipe, which combines the earthy and rich flavor of porcini mushrooms with light and tangy goat cheese. He’s dubbed it Aaron’s Made Famous Lasagna (vegetarian & dairy free), and I’m happy to share it with you.
- 2 (7 oz packages) creamy goat cheese
- 8 oz cheddar or jack style goat cheese, grated
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 tbsp dried basil
- 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 4 cups prepared pasta sauce
- 1 lb whole-wheat lasagna
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small zucchini, diced
- 2 small summer squash, diced
- 3/4 cup bottled roasted red pepper, diced
- 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 ounce)
- 2 (31/2 oz) packages shiitake mushrooms 1(8 oz) package presliced button mushrooms
- 1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
- 2 cups chopped plum tomato
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups soy or almond milk (original flavor)
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 3-4 tablespoons Earth Balance butter alternative
Heat oven to 375.
Goat Cheese Mixture & Vegetables
Mix 1 package soft goat cheese, thyme, basil, oregano and garlic in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Combine the water and porcini in a medium bowl, cover and let stand 15 minutes. Drain in a sieve over a bowl, reserving 1 cup soaking liquid. Bring the soaking liquid to a boil in a small saucepan; reduce heat to medium, and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 5 minutes). Remove the stems from shiitakes, discard stems. Slice shiitake caps. Chop tomatoes, zucchini, squash and red pepper.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add porcini, shiitake, and button mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon salt, thyme, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; saute 12 minutes or until softened. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.
Porcini Bechamel Sauce
Melt the Earth Balance in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add 1/4 cup porcini mushroom liquid and almond or soy milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook until mixture thickens (about 4 minutes). Remove from heat. Add half of a 7 oz packet of soft goat cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and stir until cheese melts.
Spread 1 cup pasta sauce on the bottom of an 8 “x 11” baking dish. Add one layer of lasagna and season with black pepper. Add a layer of zucchini, squash, and red pepper.
Add a layer of sauteed mushroom mixture. Dollop spoonfuls of goat cheese mixture and porcini bechamel sauce over vegetables and spread to cover. Repeat layers, finishing with pasta and sauce.
Sprinkle shredded goat cheese on top, cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 minutes or until top browns. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.