delicious vegetarian {brown rice} lasagna

my mom’s cousin is famous for her lasagna, and for good reason. it is delicious beyond words: rich, moist, delicate, and tender all at the same time. lucky for us, she happened to be living in the town next to ours for a little while during our stay in france- and she always brought a large dish of lasagna along when she came for a visit. i’m pretty sure she knew how disappointed we’d be if she didn’t (it happened once). as i write this today, my mouth is watering at the thought of alo pari’s  (love and miss her) lasagnas bubbling away in the oven. one time, it actually snowed in southern france(!!), and she had to stay with us for several days while things got back to normal-you can imagine how happy this made my sister and i (to top it off, school was out)! this is when alo pari taught us how to prepare lasagna her way-sort of-because i’m pretty sure there was a certain magic trick she failed to share with us. in baking my vegetarian brown rice lasagna last night, i used her general recipe {adapted, of course-for one thing, she made her own pasta dough-which made all the difference}, and tried to summon up some of her magic-the resulting lasagna was not quite magical, but was very tasty indeed!
for 6 servings:
  • 2 cups of cubed vegetables (i used 1 medium onion, 3 zucchinis, 1/3 head of cauliflower-get creative: mushrooms, eggplant, bell peppers….)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 6-8 brown rice lasagna sheets (boiled in a large pot of salted water for about 10-15 minutes)
  • 1 bunch (1/4-1/2 cup chopped) fresh basil
  • 1 and 1/2 cup (italian) plain tomato sauce (puree)
  • 1 cup whole wheat bechamel sauce (click on link for recipe)
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (regianno)
  • 3 tbs shredded mozzarella cheese
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1. sautee the chopped vegetables (cubed same size) with garlic, sea salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes in the olive oil until tender, about 5-7 minutes
2. add tomato sauce, and allow the vegetables to simmer for about 8-10 minutes, then add most of the chopped basil, simmer for another 5 minutes.
3. make the bechamel sauce while the sauce is simmering *(you can substitute the ww flour with corn starch or rice flour for gluten free)*

4. in a deep baking dish, start assembling the lasagna, starting with a few spoons of sauce at the bottom, followed by 2-3 sheets of the cooked lasagna.
5. over the first lasagna sheets add more sauce, 1/2 of the bechamel sauce, and 1/2 of the parmesan cheese.

6. one more layer of lasagna sheets, the remaining sauce and parmesan cheese.

7. top the sauce with the remaining half of bechamel sauce, the mozzarella cheese, a few pepper flakes, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and basil. the lasagna is ready for the oven! bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or so.

8. allow the lasagna to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. it’s good stuff.

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One thought on “delicious vegetarian {brown rice} lasagna

  1. Pingback: did you say veg·e·tar·i·an? a simple {green} dinner for a gathering of friends: curried vegetable rice & fire roasted eggplant salad | Cooking Minette

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