Vegetarian Lasagna with Bechamel Sauce
Vegetarian Lasagna with Bechamel sauce is a simple, stunning piece of work. Over the years, I’ve stuck to my standard lasagna recipe, given to me from my mother. It’s a lovely traditional Northern Italian recipe which incorporates layering’s of her delicious bolognese sauce and mozzarella. But, one day I decided I was wanting to do with out the meat-based bolognese. Was I on the road to disappointment? I mean, would lasagna be lasagna with out the rich, hearty bolognese? Little did I know that bechamel is not only a game changer, but it would happily initiate my transition in to the meat-free variety of lasagna permanently.
The 1 2 3’s of Béchamel
For those of you who aren’t familiar with béchamel sauce, it’s a mother-sauce in French cuisine, but the Italians also have a deep history with this white creamy sauce. But what I find most fascinating about it is its ease to make. Requiring butter, flour, milk, cheese and a good strong whisk, anyone can make up a delicious batch of this creamy white sauce, not just the top French Chef’s.
The question remains, do you need both mozzarella and bechamel sauce in your lasagna? Well, I’ve made it both ways. Both ways gave me a delicious result. I am a traditionalist and therefor, I love adding mozzarella to any form of lasagna, but with the creamy bechamel sauce, it can make it a bit rich and heavy.
I guess you be the judge-don’t be afraid to experiment in the kitchen. Recipes are made to be adaptive to your own personal needs and dietary requirements. It’s not all rocket science, but rather more preference. Preference is easy to sway…but one thing that will never sway is the intense, creamy warm flavor a bechamel sauce provides in any recipe. And, if you’re not in the mood for the mozzarella, feel free to layer thin ribbon cuts of zucchini or eggplant to add more veg and fiber to this already delicious dish.
Fun lasagna history…
Lasagna is an age-old dish that is said to have been first found in Greek kitchens. It’s said the Greeks were the first to form the lasagna noodle and spawned the entire invention of pasta noodles and shapes. The Romans quickly took that away though when they created the layering effect that signifies this fine dish. I guess on could say, the Italians successfully took back something which more than likely, was always theirs.
Lasagna – My way
- 1 box lasagna noodles uncooked
- 1 can tomatoes for sauce
- 1 clove garlic for sauce
- 2-4 TBS italian herbs
- 2 pinches salt
- 2-4 TBS olive oil
- 300 grams Mozzarella cheese or 3 medium balls
- 1 portion bechemel see recipe under bechemal
- gather all your ingredients and ready yourself for assembly: pre-made bechamel and red sauce is recommended so that you are ready to assembly quickly or in a steady pace with out interruption.
- smear some olive oil and red sauce at the base of the dish
- cut your mozzarella in nice even slices
- begin with your first layer: sauce, noodle, bechamel
- and continue, with mozzarella and then the next layer
- and now the 3rd layer
- and final.
Bake in hot oven @ 200 Celsius until bubbly and golden.
- Lasagna served on plate