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Recipe: Chef Kevin Belton's Lasagna

Chef Kev has three Lasagna recipes for you to try.

NEW ORLEANS —

Summer Vegetable Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 14 lasagna noodles, no boil
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 baby portobello mushrooms, sliced 
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp. Creole seasoning 
  • 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut 
  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  •  8 basil leaves, chopped
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, zucchini, squash, and Creole seasoning, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are softened but still have some crunch, another 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Stir in the roasted red peppers and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid has thickened and reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the basil and season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
  • While the sauce cooks, stir the ricotta cheese, eggs and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl until blended.
  • Spoon 1 cup vegetable mixture into the baking dish to lightly cover the bottom. Arrange four noodles lengthwise and side by side to cover the bottom.
  • Spread about half of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with a third of the Parmesan cheese and a third of the mozzarella cheese. Top with a third of the vegetable mixture.
  • Add another layer of four noodles, then repeat by adding another third of the cheese and vegetable mixture.
  • Finish with a final layer of noodles, the remaining vegetable mixture, and top with the leftover cheese.
  • Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes; uncover, then bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is crusty around the edges. Let rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Meaty Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, loose
  • 1 lb.ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork 
  • 24 oz. Passata (puréed tomatoes strained of seeds & skin)
  • 14 oz. fire roasted tomatoes, diced
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 2 beef or vegetable bouillon cubes, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to tastes

Bechamel

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup flour, all purpose 
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, fresh shredded

Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 14 lasagna noodles, no boil
  • 17 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped

Directions

  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, then add in the onion and carrots and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until softened. Add in the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  • Add Italian sausage, beef and pork. Cook breaking it up with a spoon, until browned.
  • Pour in the Passata, roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, crushed bouillon and dried herbs. Mix well to combine and bring to a gentle simmer. Season with brown sugar, and desired amount of salt and pepper.  Cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes, occasionally mixing, until the sauce has thickened slightly and meat is tender.
  • Adjust salt, pepper and dried herbs to your taste.
  • In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Remove from hot plate; add the flour and whisk for about 30 seconds, or until well blended.
  • Place pot back onto stove, reduce heat down to low and slowly whisk in 1 cup of the milk until well combined. Once well blended, add the remaining milk in 1 cup increments, mixing well after each addition, until all the milk is used and sauce is free from lumps. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk until it turns into a nice and creamy consistency.
  • Increase heat to medium and continue cooking sauce while stirring occasionally until it thickens and coats the back of your wooden spoon.
  • Add in the Parmesan cheese and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper and mix until the cheese is melted through.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spoon about 1 cup of meat sauce on the base of a 9x13-inch baking dish, then cover with lasagna sheets. Layer with 2 cups of meat sauce or enough to cover pasta, 1 cup of white sauce and half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, reserving the remaining cheese for the top.
  • Pour the remaining meat sauce and white sauce over the last layer of lasagna sheets and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
  • Garnish with parsley and let stand for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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