Mario’s meat-less twist on a classic dish!
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic (peeled, thinly sliced)
2 medium onions (peeled, small dice)
4 carrots (peeled, small dice)
4 ribs celery (small dice)
2 cans plum tomatoes (crushed by hand, juices reserved, 28 ounces each)
3 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
2 bunches swiss chard (center rib and stem removed)
2 bunches spinach
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 pound fresh lasagna pasta sheets
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (freshly grated)
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
For the Vegetable Bolognese: Preheat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook until slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, and thyme and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
For the Greens: In a large pot of boiling salted water, add the swiss chard and spinach and blanch for 1 minute. Drain, squeezing out any excess liquid, and roughly chop. Set aside.
For the Bechamel: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Cook until light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the milk, 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until smooth. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, season with the salt and nutmeg, and set aside.
To Assemble: Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a pasta pot and add the salt. Set up an ice bath next to the stovetop. Drop the pasta into the boiling water, 6 or 7 pieces at a time, and cook for 1 minute until tender. Transfer to the ice bath to cool, then drain on kitchen towels, laying the pasta flat. Repeat to cook the rest of the pasta.
Spread a layer of the vegetable bolognese over the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and top with some bechamel, a sprinkling of Parmigiano, a layer of pasta, a layer of bolognese, a layer of greens, a layer of the bechamel and a sprinkling of Parmigiano. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up, finishing with a layer of pasta topped with bechamel and a sprinkling of Parmigiano.
Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the sauces are bubbling. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Tip: For a store-bought solution, use boxed lasagna noodles just boil for 2-3 minutes short of the cooking time stated on the box directions.