Italian Cuisine.

Olive Garden Style Vegetable Lasagna

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Olive Garden`s Lasagna Classico is a very popular dish for kids and adults alike. As a id all celebrations, birthdays and get togethers with family or friends are always at Olive Garden. This is a vegetarian version inspired by various versions online as well as my own adaptation of this dish. Although it seems to have a lot of ingredients, its simply a matter of adding them together to create this dish, Both the tomato sauce and the cheese sauce can be prepared ahead and the Lasgagna assembled on the day its required. A great party dish for kids or an excellent addition to a potluck. This preparation contains around 7-8 servings and can be stored frozen, in a container covered with cling film.

Ingredients:

Lasagna Sheets ( I used no bake)

Prepared Tomato Sauce

Prepared Ricotta Mix

1.5 Cups Mozzarella

Cooking Spray

Tomato Sauce:

2  28 Oz  Can Crushed Tomatoes

3 Tbsp Onion

1 Onion

2-3 Garlic Pods

2 Zucchini diced fine.

1 Yellow Squash diced fine.

1/4 Tsp Dry oregano

1/4 Tsp Dry Basil

Salt + Pepper to taste

Cheese Sauce:

2 Pounds Ricotta Cheese

1 Cup Mozzarella

1/2 Cup Romano

1 Tbsp Fresh Parsley leaves

1 Tbsp Fresh basil leaves

1 Tbsp Oregano Leaaves.

1 Egg Beaten (Optional)

Salt + Pepper to taste

PREPARATION:

  • In a large pan, add the 3 Tbsp Oil and then the garlic and the diced onions. Allow them to saute and sweat until translucent.
  • Add diced zucchini and yellow squash and allow to saute.
  • Pour in the 2 cans of crushed tomato, dry oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer and let it simmer for 20 mins.
  • Hearty Tomato Sauce is ready.

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  • In another bowl add 2 pounds of whole milk ricotta cheese, 1 Cup Mozarella Cheese, 1/2 Cup Romano Cheese and fold them together.
  • Now add 1 beaten egg, all the fresh herbs (substitute with dried, but fresh leaves really makes all the difference), salt and pepper and combine.
  • Set aside. Now both Tomato Sauce and Cheese Sauce are ready. Make sure they both are at room temperature.

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  • Preheat the oven to 350 F(Boiled Lasagna Sheets) and 425F (No boil lasagna Sheets).
  • Line your baking dish with oil or cooking spray.
  • Pour 1 Cup of Tomato Sauce on the base of the dish as the first layer and spread.
  • Lay your lasagna sheets (No boil or Boiled) in a single layer to completely cover the tomato sauce layer.
  • Spread a cup of cheese sauce over the lasagna sheets. Spread thinly without ripping the sheets.
  • Now add 1 cup of tomato sauce covering the cheese sauce completely.
  • Layer lasagna sheets and cheese sauce and repeat the process alternatively until all the sheets are exhausted.

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  • Finish the top layer with tomato sauce and sprinkle a generous 1 to 1.5 cups of mozzarella cheese on the top.
  • Coat the inner side of an aluminium foil with oil spray and use it to completely cover the baking dish.
  • The foil keeps the top layer from getting over cooked while the middle layers complete cooking.
  • Bake for 50 – 55 mins and when done turn off the heat.
  • Keep the lasagna as is in the oven with  the oven door slightly open.
  • Remove from oven and make uniform square cuts to the lasagna.
  • They will be well set and firm but well cooked and delicious.
  • Makes 16-20 pieces depending on pan size.