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Vegetarian Lasagna

Ingredients (Organic when possible)

1 package lasagna pasta
6-8oz Asiago cheese
6-8 oz pound white cheddar cheese

Small tub cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
1 pound mixed mushrooms (portabella, crimini, shitake, maitake)
1/2 green pepper (more overpowers)
1 Large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 can tomato paste
1 jar spaghetti/marinara sauce (we use only organic)
Celtic Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Cook noodles to firm, sauté veggies and mushrooms in olive oil (with the garlic), and grate the cheeses. 

The original recipe calls for mozzarella cheese, but we find it to be really tasteless. The reason the cheeses above are in red is that the cheeses you choose are totally up to you and your tastes. For this recipe we used the ones above. You can use farmer cheese, gouda, Monterey Jack, or any that you prefer. It's also good to have a bit of parmesan cheese for the toping. 

Same goes for the mushrooms. All mushrooms are medicinal. They stimulate the immune system. The shitake and maitake are, however, the best of the medicinal mushrooms, unless, of course, you can find some ABM mushrooms from Brazil. These are the most potent of the immune stimulating mushrooms. You can buy them from Canada, but they're not exactly the same ones from Brazil. Morels too are very tasty. If you buy them dehydrated, you'll have to re-hydrate them is water with a touch of Celtic Sea Salt first. I usually do this the night previous.

After rehydration, add them to the veggies you're sautéing.

Add the spaghetti/marinara sauce together with the tomato paste and simmer for about half an hour. One important note on tomato paste and your marinara sauce: if you buy just regular, non-organic sauces, you'll get a whole lot more than you've bargained for. They are cooked in aluminum vats, and the acid in tomatoes leeches the aluminum into the mix. Additionally, the cans tend to leech a bit of BPA into the sauces. Organic versions don't give you any of these toxins. The cans are coated so as not to leech any BPA. Keep this in mind when shopping. 

In a small baking pan (or Pyrex) spread the cooked sauce around. If you lay down a layer of pasta over the bottom of the pan, you'll never get it up. So put a little sauce there to keep the pasta from sticking. Then put layer of pasta on top. Ladle out sauce over that layer of pasta, and then sprinkle your cheeses over that. Then using a few tablespoons of cottage cheese (or ricotta) spread that over the top. This is the "glue" that keeps everything together, but too much will make it all runny. Just a light coating.

Make one more layer just as you did the first, and then put a layer of pasta on top of that.

Now, this last layer of pasta will harden up like a crisp cracker if you were to bake it bare. You'll be putting cheese over it, but not right away as you don't want to burn the cheese. So, slather over the top just enough sauce to keep it moist. You can test the hardness while cooking to see if it needs a bit more.

And now here is a secret of my Sicilian grandmother's that you might like.

For the last layer of cheese, find another clove, crush it up good and blend it into the last amount of cheese you'll use for your topping. Then, to that mixture, add your Italian spices (usually Marjoram, Thyme, Rosemary, Savory, Sage, Oregano, and Basil, but it's up to you and your tastes). Stir all that up, and when the Lasagne is 3/4s done, layer it over the top, sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and finish cooking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to an hour (really depends on the type of oven you have, convection or standard; a convection oven requires less time than a standard).

One more little secret? For a delightful dish that is truly outstanding, cover and refrigerate overnight. Let all the ingredients get to know each other. Remove from he fridge and allow it to come to room temp before cooking. You'll love it.


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