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Broccoli Lasagna a Vegetarian Delight

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“This recipe uses the n0-boil variety of noodles,” writes Debbie Macomber. “If unavailable, cook the regular kind and continue the recipe as written, omitting the soaking.”

Broccoli Lasagna

1 large head broccoli, cut into small florets and stalks, chopped
1 (8-ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 large egg
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for coating pan
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup flour
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided use
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided use

Cook broccoli in boiling water in a medium saucepan until tender-crisp, about 6 minutes. Drain in colander; run cool water over broccoli to stop cooking. Coarsely chop; set aside.

In food processor or blender, blend ricotta, egg, salt and pepper until smooth. Set aside.

Melt butter in same saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 4 minutes, until softened, stirring. Sprinkle in flour and cook until incorporated, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Do not brown. Slowly stir in milk; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes ,until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. (Tip: Making a cream sauce is all about patience. Keep stirring as you slowly pour in the milk. In time, it will thicken.)

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees; set rack in the middle of the oven. Place noodles in 9-by-13-inch baking pan; cover with hot tap water. Let soak 5 minutes, gently shaking pan to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water; lay on kitchen towel or paper towels to blot dry. Empty water from pan; wipe dry and rub with butter.

Spread 1/2 cup white sauce in bottom of pan; lay 3 noodles on top of sauce. Stir broccoli into remaining white sauce; you should have about 4 cups. Spread 1 cup of this broccoli mixture evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan, and top with 3 more noodles. Spread 1 cup broccoli mixture over noodles, sprinkle with 1 cup cheddar and top with 3 more noodles. Spread 1 cup broccoli mix over noodles, top with ricotta mixture. Finish with 3 noodles, remaining broccoli mixture and remaining cheddar.

Cover pan with foil. Bake 20 minutes, until bubbling. Remove from oven; take off foil. Heat broiler. Broil lasagna about 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6-8 servings.

From “Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove Cookbook”

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