Perhaps what makes a recipe “The Best” is simply that it can be whatever you want it to be..

“The Best” (Vegetarian) Lasagna

Serves 8-12

2 large onions, thinly sliced
4 sprigs of thyme
6 medium zucchini, sliced evenly into 1/3” rounds
3 plum tomatoes, sliced very thinly (less then 5 mm)
Lasagna noodles for 3 layers (no-bake or parboiled, up to you)
1/4 cup basil pesto (fresh or purchased)
1 pound ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
zest of 1 lemon
1/8 c + 1 T chopped parsley
8 oz shredded mozzarella
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 T Dijon mustard
8 T olive oil
3 T butter
Optional: Greens from 1/4 pound ramps
1. Add 2 T olive oil and 1 T butter to a large skillet and heat on low until butter is melted. Add onions and leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme. Sauté over low heat about 1 hour until onions are caramelized. If not sweet to taste after 1 hour, increase the heat to medium till onions are browned.
2. Preheat oven to 300 °F. In a large bowl, toss zucchini slices with 4 T oil, and salt to taste. Arrange rounds on 2 baking sheets and bake 40 minutes until tender and slightly desiccated. Increase temperature to 400 and bake 10 minutes more until tops are browned.
3. In a medium bowl, mix ricotta with shredded parmesan, lemon zest, 1/8 c. parsley, and salt and black pepper to taste.
4. In a small pan, melt 2 T butter over medium heat until foamed. Add in leaves from remaining 2 sprigs of thyme, 1 T Dijon mustard, and 1 T finely chopped parsley. Remove from heat and whisk vigorously. Add in breadcrumbs, toss to combine, and set aside.
5. With all materials prepared, assemble the lasagna layers in a 9 x 13” baking dish, in the following order, remembering to lightly season between layers:
a. 1/3 of onions
b. 1/3 of zucchini
c. 1/3 of tomato slices
d. 1 whole layer of prepared pasta
e. evenly brush pesto over pasta in a very thin layer (use 1/3rd or less)
f. 1/3rd of ricotta mixture, spread evenly to edges of pan
g. If using, evenly cover ricotta mixture with 1 layer of ramp greens
h. 1/3rd of shredded mozzarella
6. Repeat to create 3 full layers, using up most of your ingredients (you may have some leftover, just eat it all in a sandwich). Over the top, sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture. Cover lasagna in aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
7. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Take lasagna out of refrigerator and place directly in the oven. Bake covered for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake an additional 40 minutes till bubbly.

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Bon Appeti!

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