Five extraordinary lasagna recipes to feed the vegetarians and omnivores at your table
Lasagna is one of those dishes best eaten a day or more after it is made, so the flavors have a chance to marry and the components can bond more firmly. That can be quite helpful at this time of year when we are busy with holiday preparations — and perhaps a bit burned out from all of that Thanksgiving cooking.
A complete meal in itself, no sides are necessary with lasagna, though a green salad can add a welcome crunch factor. Lasagna is easily adaptable for vegetarians and can be made with gluten-free lasagna noodles for those who do not eat wheat. Want to cut down on dishes too? No-boil lasagna noodles reduce preparation time and pot washing.
Classic lasagna Bolognese uses a ragu — slow-cooked meat sauce — rather than ground beef simmered in marinara, and a bechamel in place of the layers of ricotta and mozzarella that we are accustomed to here in America. Though you can’t taste it, Anthony Bourdain’s ragu includes chicken liver, for even more richness and depth of flavor. His Lasagna Bolognese also uses no-boil lasagna noodles for easier assembly.
Lorenza Munoz makes a vegetarian Mexican Lasagna, using popular Mexican ingredients such as rajas — strips of poblano chile sauteed with onions — in place of the meat and her own blend of sour cream and cotija cheese to make “Mexican ricotta.”
Packed with fresh spinach, portobello mushrooms, artichokes and gooey mozzarella, Cafe Roka’s Artichoke and Portobello Mushroom Lasagna is all about a hearty texture. Most people wouldn’t guess it is vegetarian.
Pumpkin Lasagna uses bechamel and a small amount of prosciutto for an almost meatless and “no tomato sauce” take on the dish (read: no long simmering time required). It also calls for Taleggio rather than mozzarella, though any soft, brie-like cheese also works.
And Marion Cunningham prefers pre-cooked lasagna noodles to the no-bake kind for her vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna. The vegetables are diced and cooked in tomato sauce for texture and easy layering, while Cunningham uses cottage cheese in place of the usual ricotta. Spend a few hours making it — or any of these delicious lasagna recipes — and you have many meals worth of heat-and-eat dinners on hand to last throughout the busy holiday season.
Anthony Bourdain's lasagna Bolognese is made with a ragu of pork, veal and beef enriched with chicken liver that is layered with noodles and bechamel and blanketed with mozzarella.
YieldsServes 12 to 16
Rajas -- poblano strips with sauteed onions -- are the "meat" in this lasagna, layered with a Mexican version of ricotta (a mixture of sour cream and salty cotija) and noodles.
Time1 hour 20 minutes
YieldsServes 8 to 12
With layers packed with fresh spinach, portobello mushrooms, artichokes and gooey mozzarella, there's no shortage of creamy richness in this lasagna.
YieldsServes 10 to 12
This lasagna is a prime example of how well pumpkin works with bechamel and lots of cheese.
Time2 hours 30 minutes
YieldsServes 8 to 10