Brother-Bug has long had a strong distaste for cooked carrots in almost all incarnations. However, last week I made a soup with grated carrots as a base and he was enchanted. He decided he wanted a lasagna with grated carrot as a main ingredient. I had to think about it for a while, but eventually I came up with this recipe. It's not at all a traditional Italian lasagna, but it's really tasty.
I used whole wheat lasagna noodles, but my preference here would have been to use fresh sheets of pasta. Sadly I was out of sheets, and didn't get to our favorite local pasta shop to grab some.
1 pound lasagna noodles or fresh pasta sheets, cooked
2 cups milk
2 bay leaves
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cups button mushrooms, chopped
3 cups grated carrot
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley (you can use fresh instead...I didn't have any fresh)
3 tbl. flour
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
3 cups grated mozzerella
15 oz. ricotta
Heat the milk with the bay leaves until it simmers. Do not boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Melt half the butter in a large frying pan. Add the garlic, onion, and dried herbs and saute for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and carrots and cover. Cook on medium heat until the mushrooms have cooked down, releasing their juices. Add the rest of the butter and sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms. Stir the flour in till smooth, coating the mushrooms and carrots. Remove the bay leaves from the milk. Pour the milk over the mushrooms, stirring throughly till smooth. Stir in 3/4 cup parmesan cheese. Add salt & pepper - because there is no salt added to the noodles or ricotta, you might want to over salt the filling a little bit.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Grease a baking pan. Stack a layer of noodles, 1/3 of the carrot-mushroom filling, and a sprinkle of mozzarella. Spread another layer of noodles and spread the ricotta over. Pour the next 1/3 of the carrot-mushroom filling over the ricotta. One more layer of noodles, the remaining carrot-mushroom mixture, and the rest of the mozzarella and paremesan. Bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes, or till the cheese is golden. Allow to cool for 10-20 minutes before serving.
We served this with a spinach salad. As I was making it, I was unsure. Carrot lasagna? Really? But it turned out really good. Everyone enjoyed it and cleaned their plates.