Lasagna Recipe By Laura Vitale

This isn’t your ordinary lasagna!

Vegetable lasagna created by a girl who grew up in Naples, Italy…now she is famous! Any guesses who she is?

Are you ready for a FABULOUS Vegetable Lasagna Recipe with some really cool background to it?

We begin this recipe with an introduction to its creator.

You will have to read all the way to the end of the article to find out who this mystery celebrity is.

As you read along, we are going to drop hints to help you get closer to the answer!

We will tell you that this vegetable lasagna’s main ingredient is love.

When you prepare and cook this, your senses will be awakened by the lush smells of Italy.

It almost transports you to Naples, where one little girl grew up with a father who had a distinct flair for cooking.

At the age of 12, the little Italian girl and her parents came to the U.S., where her father opened a little bistro.

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This bistro was known for its pizza. Salvatore Pientrangeli taught his daughter to cook and instilled the love of cooking in her.

He continues to follow his passion for cooking as a chef at one of LaScala’s Italian restaurants in Philadelphia.

Now, the little girl grew up and married her great love (Joe), who encouraged her to pursue cooking in a way that opened the door to celebritydom!

In 2010, down in the basement of their home, Joe created a kitchen set where he taped his wife’s cooking episodes.

He posted these episodes on their YouTube channel.

Her recipes began to go viral, and her following skyrocketed.

Bet you can’t even come close to guessing what her YouTube following is today! It is 2.2 million and growing. Wowza!

So, her career took off, and she made appearances on many shows and with other celebrities. 

Some of them include:

  • The Today Show
  • Chopped
  • Wendy Williams Show
  • The Steve Harvey Show
  • Rachel Ray Show
  • QVC
  • Bobby Flay
  • Emeril Lagasse

Did you know that ‘lasagna’ got its name from…

‘Lasagne’ – Greek for ‘laganon’ the original first-ever pasta

The Coveted Vegetable Lasagna Recipe

Nope, we aren’t going to reveal the chef’s name for this recipe just yet! Patience, because we are now going to go over what you need to prepare this fabulous dish.

Each step will take you from start to finish. 

Time to prepare: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 2 ½ hours

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients:

Bechamel SauceVeggie FillingRicotta FillingOther 
Butter (¼ cup)Flour (¼ cup)Whole Milk (4 cups)Nutmeg (freshly grated)Salt & White PepperShredded Provolone and Mozzarella Cheese Blend (1 cup)Parmiggiano (½ cup)Asparagus (1 bunch) trim and cut into bite sizeFrozen Chopped Spinach (1-10 oz box, drained)Red Bell Pepper (half, diced)Frozen Peas (½ cup)Shallots (4 peeled, cut into bite size)Mushrooms (2 cups, sliced)Garlic (4 cloves, peeled/minced)Olive Oil (3 Tbsp)Thyme (2 tsp fresh)Ricotta Cheese (15 oz)Egg (1)Prepared Pesto (4 Tbsp)Salt/Pepper as neededParmiggiano (½ cup, freshly grated)Parmigiano Reggiano (¼ cup)Shredded Provolone and Mozzarella Cheese Blend (1 ½ cups)No Boil Lasagna Noodles (16 pieces)

You Will Also Need:

  • 9×13 dish
  • Non-stick spray
  • Skillet
  • Whisk
  • Cheese grater
  • Colander 
  • Paper towels
  • Knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large saucepan
  • Mixing bowl

Step-by-Step Preparation:

  1. Prepare the Bechamel Sauce
    • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. 
    • Add flour stirring until it is completely incorporated and all lumps are gone.
    • Add the milk while whisking until mixture has thickened.
    • Add freshly grated nutmeg, salt, and white pepper.
    • Remove from heat and add provolone/mozzarella cheese blend. Allow to sit.
  2. Veggie Filling
    • Place a large skillet on medium heat and preheat. Add olive oil.
    • Add shallots, mushrooms, pepper, asparagus, salt, and pepper. Stir fry them for about 8-10 minutes. Add frozen peas, frozen spinach, garlic, and thyme. 
    • Cook for another 2 minutes.
    • Remove from heat and set to the side.
  3. Ricotta Filling
    • In a large mixing bowl, add ricotta cheese, pesto, egg, salt, pepper, and Parmigiano. Mix together.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  5. Layering
    • Spray your 9×13 dish with non-stick cooking spray.
    • Pour ¼ of Bechamel sauce on the bottom of the dish and evenly spread out.
    • Place 3 pieces of lasagna noodles on top of the sauce.
    • Pour ⅓ of ricotta filling on top of the noodles and spread evenly.
    • Pour ⅓ of veggie mixture on top of the ricotta filling and spread evenly.
    • Continue to repeat layering steps until all gone making sure that the last layer on top is the sauce.
    • Cover with foil and bake 40-45 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven.
    • Remove foil.
    • Add remaining cheese on top of the lasagna.
    • Place back in the oven (uncovered) and bake until cheese has melted.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool 15 minutes before serving.
  8. Grab a spoon and savor a bite of Italy!

The BIG Reveal!

Are you ready to find out just who this famous celebrity chef is? Every time you enjoy this vegetable lasagna, you can genuinely appreciate the chef’s background. Every bite is a little piece of her heritage from beautiful Naples, Italy. 

A bit of interesting trivia

  • Did you know that Naples sits next to Mount Vesuvius where the still-active volcano sits? 

This volcano wiped out Pompeii back in the B.C. period.

Today you can still see the ruins unearthed by archeologists exposing the frozen remains of Pompeii and its inhabitants.

  • This celebrity chef’s favorite dish is gnocchi. 

Gnocchi was the very first thing she ever cooked!

  • This celebrity chef learned how to speak English by watching American TV shows!

Who is she?

Okay, let’s pull back the curtain and tell you just who this chef is!

She is famous for her appearances on her show called “Simply Laura” featured on the Food Network.

Her basement YouTube channel was known as “Laura in the Kitchen.” She is none other than Laura Pientangeli-Vitale

Viola! 

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