Having a thick slice of lasagna placed in front of you is like opening a new book. Each layer reveals a different element to the dish in much the same way each chapter of a book reveals more about the story. Individually each layer and page are enjoyed, but the story is best appreciated as a whole.
Lasagna is elevated from a its rustic roots to a new level of elegance by simply preparing it in a springform pan allowing each lovely layer to be on display. This recipe started as a vegetable version, but I added some ground beef to make it more palatable to my family, my husband in particular. I loved the earthy flavor and texture of the vegetables added but am glad I added the beef as it made this more hearty and delicious. While there is plenty of cheese here, this is a little more healthy and little less cheesy than the lasagna you may be used to eating. Proving you can have your lasagna, and eat it to.
This dressed up lasagna is the perfect thing to serve the next time you want to impress your family and friends.
14 dried lasagna noodles
1 pound ground chuck
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 jar (26 ounces) tomato-and-basil pasta sauce (2 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped carrot (3 medium)
2 cups finely chopped zucchini (1 medium)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 package fresh baby spinach (6 ounces)
2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil
1 egg, beaten
1 container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)