Author of The Meat Lover's Meatless Celebrations, food writer Kim O'Donnel is constantly creating delicious meatless meals. She uses matzoh in this lasagna recipe so that it's filling and satisfying.
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, 3 minced and 3 sliced thinly
- 1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and minced
- 1-2 sprigs oregano or thyme (or both)
- 1/4 Cup red wine
- One 23- to 28-ounce can tomato purée
- 2 bunches arugula, washed thoroughly, stemmed, and spun dry, or equal amounts of spinach
- 1/2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 Cup unsalted walnuts
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 Cup 2 percent or full-fat cottage cheese
- 1/8 Teaspoon nutmeg
- 8 unsalted matzohs
- 1 Cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 10-12 Ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat, then add the onion, the minced garlic, and the carrot, cooking until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the herbs and wine and cook until the wine is reduced by 1/2. Stir occasionally to minimize sticking.
Add the tomato purée and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, so the sauce can simmer over low heat. Cover the pot and cook for about 30 minutes; remove the herb sprigs and add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to assemble the lasagna.
Meanwhile, make the arugula filling. Divide the arugula in 1/2 and place in 2 bowls. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add ½ of the arugula and the 3 cloves of garlic sliced thinly. With tongs, turn the arugula to coat it with the oil; it will wilt (and shrink) rather quickly. Cook for about 2 minutes. Transfer the cooked arugula mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining uncooked arugula, red pepper flakes, and walnuts to the food processor, in batches if necessary. Process until the mixture becomes an emerald green purée. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and process for another minute or so. Add the ½ teaspoon of salt and process for a few seconds. Taste, adjust the salt as needed, and season with black pepper to taste. Remove the blade from the food processor and measure out 1 cup of the purée. Transfer to a medium-size mixing bowl. (You will have about ¾ cup of leftover purée; store in the fridge in an airtight container and use within 2 days as a sandwich spread, over rice, or devoured with an egg. It’s a wonderful cook’s treat.)
Rinse out and wipe dry the bowl of the food processor and place the cottage cheese in the bowl. Process until completely blended and smooth; it will look like sour cream. Transfer to the bowl with the arugula purée and stir together until completely integrated. Stir in the nutmeg.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Before assembly, it’s a good idea to check how the matzohs fit inside a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. (Two matzohs should easily fit, side by side.) Grease the dish, then wet each matzoh under a slow trickle of warm water to moisten. Stack the damp matzohs and cover with a damp paper towel. Spoon enough marinara sauce onto the bottom of the baking dish to cover its surface. Place a layer of matzohs side by side, so that they’re snug, on top of the sauce. With a rubber spatula, spread 1/2 of the arugula filling on top of the matzho, covering the surface, and add ¼ of the mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Create a new layer of matzoh, and this time, spoon in enough marinara sauce to cover the surface, followed by another ¼ addition of each cheese. For the third matzoh layer, spread the remaining arugula filling on top, followed by another ¼ addition of each cheese. For the top layer, place the remaining 2 matzohs, followed by the remaining marinara sauce, spread evenly. Top the whole thing off with the remaining cheese.
Cover with foil and bake the lasagna until fork tender and bubby, about 50 minutes. Remove the foil and allow the cheese to brown for 10 minutes before removing the baking pan from the oven.