mushroom, red pepper & spinach LASAAAGNA

How awesome does THIS sound!? Well, it tastes even more awesome. You can bake one of these bad boys and have food for the whole week, or serve it at a dinner party. Either way, you wont be disappointed.

Adapted from smitten kitchen.

ingredients

Salt
Olive oil
10 dried lasagna noodles (depending on the sizeof your baking sheet… you’ll need three layers of noodles)
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 cups milk
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound mushrooms (if you buy them in the little boxes, it’ll take two of them)
1 red pepper
2 handfulls spinach
1 cup freshly grated parmesan (I used the one from a bottle)
1/2 cup strong cheese (cheddar, havarti or whatever you have on hand)

preparation

1) Preheat your oven to 375°F. Bring a large, wide pot of water to boil with salt and a splash of oil, that will help keep your noodles from sticking together as they drain. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2) Make béchamel: Bring the milk and garlic to simmer in a saucepan, or heat it in your microwave, and set it aside. Melt 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons or 1 stick) butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook for one minute over lowheat, stirringconstantly with a whisk or wooden spoon. Pour in the hot milk, a little at a time at first and stirring until combined. Once you’ve added half of it, you can add the second half all at once, along with 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Cook over medium-low heat, stirringor whisking frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until thick. Set aside.

3) Prepare vegetables: Discard portobello mushroom stems and/or trim the ends of the cremini stems. Slice mushrooms 1/4-inch thick. Cube red peppers and chop spinach.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large sauté pan. Cook half the mushrooms and red peppers with a couple pinches of salt for about 5 minutes, or until they are tender and release some of their juices, tossing to make sure they cookevenly. Add the spinach during the last minute or so of cooking, remove from fire when the spinach wilts.  If your pot isn’t big enough, repeat with additional oil and butter, and remaining vegetables.

Assemble lasagna: Spread some of the sauce in the bottom of an 8 x 12 or 9 x 13 baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, then more sauce (about 1/4 of what remains), 1/3 of the vegetables and 1/4 cup grated parmesan. Repeat two more times then top with a final layer of noodles, your remaning sauce and last 1/4 cup of parmesan and havarti cheese

Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is browned and the sauce is bubbly. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. To freeze for future use, allow it to cool completely and wrap two to three times in plastic wrap before freezing. Serve with a baguette or a fresh salad. Or both.

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