Cheesy Sausage and Vegetable Lasagna
* ¼ cup olive oil
* 1 cup white onion, sliced
* ½ cup carrot, minced
* ½ cup celery, minced
* 500 grams raw pork sausage, casings removed and crumbled
* 1 (425 gram) can sliced button mushrooms, drained
* 2 medium eggplants, cubed
* 2 medium zucchinis, cubed
* 1 (225 gram) can diced tomatoes
* 1 (720 mL) bottle tomato puree
* 2 tbsp tomato paste
* 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock, plus more if needed
* 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
* 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
* salt and pepper (to taste)
* ¼ cup butter, diced
* ½ cup all purpose flour
* 4 cups milk, warmed
* ¼ tsp salt
* 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
* 1/8 tsp white pepper
* 12 sheet large lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions
* 1 (200 gram) pack ricotta cheese (optional)
* 2 ½ cups grated mozzarella cheese
1) Make the sausage-vegetable tomato sauce: Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed casserole or Dutch oven over low heat. Sauté onions, carrots and celery, stirring occasionally for about 5 to 7 minutes.
2) Add pork sausage. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to break up lumps. Add mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Add eggplant and zucchini; cook until tender, about 2 minutes.
3) Add diced tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato paste, stock, oregano and parsley. Stir to mix and bring to a boil.
4) Reduce heat and let mixture simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring once in a while. Add more stock, if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5) Make the béchamel sauce: melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes.
6) Gradually add warm milk, mixing continuously with a whisk until smooth. Let mixture boil and thicken a little. Season with salt, nutmeg and pepper.
7) Pre-heat oven to 350˚F.
8) To assemble, spread about a third of the sausage-vegetable sauce on the bottom of a deep 9×13-inch baking dish. Pour about ¾ to 1 cup of the béchamel sauce over. Arrange 4 sheets of cooked lasagna noodles over the sauce. Repeat layering 2 more times. Cover top with béchamel sauce then sprinkle evenly with ricotta, if using , and grated mozzarella cheeses.
9) Bake in the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the pasta feels tender when pierced with a skewer . Let lasagna rest for 10 minutes before serving.