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Italian Food Series, Lasagna Ingredients, Olive Oil

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Darlene’s EXTREME VEGGIE Lasagna

Before we get started, I think that it is important to note that I use organic vegetables and I use fresh basil and oregano from my home herb garden. It is perfectly ok to use fresh herbs and/or dried basil leaves and oregano in the spice section of your favorite grocery store. Also keep in mind that this is not a quick fix for dinner. It takes time and patience, but worth it all for the masterpiece you desire.

Ingredients:

• one 15-ounce containers part-skim ricotta

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

• 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, plus more for seasoning

• 2 packages of baby spinach (not Frozen)

• Two fresh broccoli crowns (chopped)

• 1 fresh bunch of asparagus spears (Chopped-just the tips)

• 1 small package of Baby Bella Mushrooms

• 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

• 2 cups of Colby jack cheese

• 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese

• ½ cup shredded Parmesan

• 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

• 3 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 yellow onion, diced

• 1 green bell pepper diced

• 1 red bell pepper diced

• 1/2 cup shredded carrot

• 1 yellow squash, diced

• 1 zucchini, diced

• 2 celery stalks diced

• 1 tsp garlic powder

• 6 cups store-bought or homemade marinara sauce

• 2 16 0z. cans of stewed tomatoes

• 1 tube of veggie sausage

• 1 8oz can of tomato paste

• 12 no-boil lasagna noodles (8 ounces)

Pour the homemade or store bought Marinara sauce in to a huge pot. Add stewed tomatoes, fresh basil, oregano, salt and pepper and slowly cook on medium heat. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a small sauté pan, heat your olive oil, gather diced onions and peppers and minced garlic and sauté until tender. Drain off excess water and set aside. I usually put 1/3 of that mixture in the pot with my Marinara sauce. Rinse your all veggies except the spinach (Broccoli florets, asparagus tips, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, and celery and place in a colander. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. In another large pot, boils 7 cups of water seasoned with olive oil, fresh basil leaves, and fresh oregano. Salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Drizzle olive oil on the veggies and place them (remaining in the colander) on top of the boiling pot. Cover and steam for 7 minutes, this is a very light steaming process. In another sauté pan, empty your package of veggie sausage. Remember that this is veggie sausage and it doesn’t require a long cook time. Sauté the sausage. I always season my veggie sausage with whatever I can get my hands on. But to stay safe use salt, pepper, garlic powder and I use a touch of Cayenne pepper. Add the remainder of the onion and pepper mixture at the end of cooking this. Set Aside.

Take your steamed veggies and pour into a separate mixing bowl. Return the colander, empty both packages of rinsed baby spinach in the colander and steam for less than 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Allow the spinach to sit until you are ready for it. In your long glass baking dish, spray olive oil spray on the bottom. Lay your first layer of lasagna noodles. Add the sausage mixture, top with a layer of Marinara sauce, add a layer of steamed veggies, add a layer of steamed spinach, add a layer of ricotta cheese, then a layer of Colby, jack, mozzarella, and sharp cheddar cheese, enclose with another layer of noodles, and top with another layer of sausage, if you still have steamed veggies left, top it off with those, add marinara, and top with the remainder of the shredded cheeses.

Bake at 400 for 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool off and serve.

Yeah…it’s ALOT!!!….:-)Send a message to me on IG, Facebook, or Twitter to let me know if you enjoyed it.

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