Since it’s Holy Week and Passover at the same time, I had to cook dinners with no meat and also Kosher for Passover for both my husband and I. During Holy Week, there are days when Catholics abstain from meat. I always follow these traditions. My husband always follows his Jewish traditions too. So for a dinner that had no meat and was Kosher, I was reminded of some ideas I found last year, while perusing Pinterest. I saw some pins on lasagna using matza as the noodles. So, I decided to give it a go and made matza lasagna with greens & mushrooms.
A good pan is central to making a good lasagna. Sadly, I don’t have a deep enough pan for the size lasagna I wanted to make, so I just used a regular 8×8 inch square pan. I also used pan lining paper, which helps out a lot. One side is foil and the other is parchment. I love it! Highly recommended!
I used egg matza which has a has a nice flavor and texture. My husband likes this type. I remember always seeing a box of them at his place while we were first dating. LOL. During the first year we were dating, I remember having a good time with his roommates, playing guitar with them, celebrating on one of my birthdays, and the cute mixed-breed dog that belonged to one of the roommates. Wow, how time flies. Anyways, any type of matza boards is fine. Even the gluten-free ones would make a really good lasagna!
You have to soak the matza just until they soften. Then take them out of the water. Don’t let them soak too long or the noodles will be too soggy. 😦 If you feel like you haven’t soaked them too much, that’s okay. The sauce and all the layers will help soften them as it bakes. Less soaking is better than over-soaking. Think of it as though the matza has an outer shell and a core. You want the shell to get moistened, while the core to be dry. That way, when the liquid permeates throughout the cracker, it won’t be water logged. Somehow this reminds me of freshman biology and cellular tonicity. Do you catch my drift? LOL, I miss those days studying in college and the creative ways my friends and I would learn the material. Laughs and good times studying in the library 🙂 This lasagna is making me nostalgic, for some reason.
Power to the greens, from Trader Joe’s, is a nice, power-packed organic mix including baby kale, baby chard, and baby spinach. This is what I used for this lasagna, but you can use just spinach, the mix I used in Greek greens pie/hortopita, or your favorite mix of greens.
The greens are lightly wilted and go into the ricotta mixture.
Here’s the sautéed cabbage and shiitake mushrooms. This is savoy cabbage from my dad’s garden. Love this mushroom-cabbage combo just by itself, but it’s scrumdiddlyumptious in a lasagna too! 😀 Suraj, if you are reading, this is a shout out to you and your favorite word, scumdiddlyumptious!
To assemble, tomato sauce goes on the bottom, then a layer of matza. Patch the gaps with some matza noodles. Use your favorite tomato pasta sauce. But beware, make sure it isn’t too thin or too thick. The former would make the lasagna watery and the latter would make it dry and taste like straight tomato paste. EEeeeek!
Then another layer of sauce and the ricotta-greens filling.
On top of that goes the mushroom-cabbage mix. I think I put a bit much on the bottom layer, but that’s okay. Life isn’t perfect.
Then top it with some good sliced mozzarella. I used some smoked mozzarella that we needed to use up ASAP, which gave it a bit of a smokey flavor that we were fine with. I just didn’t want the cheese to waste, but non-smoked cheese is better in this dish. Just use your favorite mozzarella. Repeat the layering process 2 more times.
Then top with matza noodles, sauce, and cheese! I didn’t put as much cheese on top as it was plenty enough cheesy with all the layers. My pan wasn’t deep enough so I had to make a foil collar for it before it went into the oven. Reminds me of Julia Child and the collar she used when making soufflé. I would have used the pan lining paper, but I ran out. Cover it with more foil or pan-lining paper and bake!
There’s some nice and crusty parts, which I love. Inside it was gooey, cheesy, and leafy goodness. With some yummy umami from the mushrooms too!
Matza Lasagna with Greens & Mushrooms
Ingredients (make sure they are all Kosher for Passover)
- 5 matza cracker boards (gluten-free, egg, regular, etc.)
- olive oil
- 1 package Power to the Greens (or 2 cups of your favorite greens mix)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated parmigiano
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
- Dash of nutmeg
- 1/2 cup onions, chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- Dash of white wine (optional)
- ~2 cups cabbage, shredded (I used savoy)
- ~1.5 cups mushrooms, sliced (I used shiitake)
- 15 ounce jar tomato sauce or jarred marinara sauce
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick (whole-milk or part-skim is fine, whichever you prefer)
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan with pan-lining paper or spray with oil.
- Soak matza boards on both sides until just the outside is moistened and has softened a little. Set aside on a dry surface.
- Prepare the ricotta-greens filling: Heat a medium-sized skillet on medium heat. Sauté the greens until wilted. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Put the greens in a container and let it cool. While it is cooling, mix the ricotta, 1/2 cup of the parmigiano, egg, basil, and nutmeg. Season with salt & pepper. Once the greens are cool, squeeze out the excess liquid with your hands and mix it in with the cheese-egg mixture. Set aside.
- Prepare the cabbage-mushrom layer: Heat a medium-sized skillet on medium heat. Sauté the onions and garlic until fragrant and golden brown. Season with salt & pepper. Add a dash of white wine to deglaze the pan. Then add the cabbage and mushrooms. Sauté until softened and the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.
- Assembly: Spread 3/4 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then layer on a matza noodle, patching the gap in the side with matza noodle torn off from a whole piece. Spread another 3/4 cup of tomato sauce, then evenly spread on a third of the ricotta-greens mixture. After that, layer a third of the cabbage-mushroom filling then top with mozzarella slices. Repeat this process of layering noodles, sauce, ricotta-greens, cabbage-mushroom, and mozzarella 2 more times. Top with remaining noodles, sauce, and 1/2 cup of parmigiano.
- Cover with foil or pan-linin paper that has been greased and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove the foil cover and bake for 20 minutes longer or until the top is browned. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving.
This was a hefty, but very satisfying lasagna. The matzo noodles were a bit softer than pasta noodles, but it was a nice change of pace. A Passover dish (or for Lent too) that’s finger-lickin’ good. Made me feel good inside and out (+ nostalgic?!?!). Try it!
- Mocha Brownies for Passover (foodflavorfascination.wordpress.com)
- Passover Popovers (foodflavorfascination.wordpress.com)
- Passover Italian Style (selectitaly.com)
- Happy Passover! (yinyangyogis.wordpress.com)
- Kosher chefs offer tips for learning to love matza (timesofisrael.com)
Sweet Samantha, Happy Easter to you and Happy Passover to your Hubby!
This is an excellent meal, and I think it covers all categories in the ‘food pyramid’! 😉
If you were to chose between matza and pasta for a party dish, which one would you recommend for this dish? Thank you for introducing me to ‘pan lining paper’. 😀
Thank you! Happy Easter to you too! I would recommend the pasta version as I like a good lasagna pasta. The matza noodles were good too, just a little softer than pasta. You may want to try a small lasagna with the matza and see if you like it. I think I first saw the pan lining paper on a Martha Stewart show. For me, it works better than regular foil. 😀
This is definitely getting added to our Passover dinners next year!
Sounds great! I hope you enjoy it!
It looks amazing!
Thanks! Also, Happy Easter!
Happy Easter! WOW! I never had Matza lasagna before, but based on your photos, am thinking I might have to “put it on the list” now too! 😉
Thank you Joanne. Happy Easter to you too!
more matza! looks amazing. Would love to be at your dinner table 🙂
Would love to have you! Lots of matza this week. 🙂
Awesome idea! Looks delicious!
Thank you! It was very delicious and am glad that I tried it 🙂
One more day of Passover to go but this looks one to try!
Thanks. It’s great when you are trying to find a use for extra matza. I hope you and your family are having a Happy Passover! 🙂
Wow! I was totally going to make a matzah lasagna for my boyfriend over Passover, but we ended up having so many dinners, so much food, big turkey dinner…couldn’t find the time! I saw some pretty plain and simple recipes, but yours looks so much better! Full of so many delicious ingredients! This will definitely be done next year…or sooner. Thanks!
Was in a similar situation last year with lots of good food during Passover so I decided to test it out a bit after the holiday last year, LOL. Your holiday dishes looked really yummy. Because the matza noodles tend to soften more than pasta, it kind of reminded me of a lasagna soufflé. The matza blends in more with the dish and is less layer-like than pasta, if that makes any sense. Anyways, I hope you enjoy it! 😀
This is a brilliant idea and I am definitely going to try this!
Thanks! I hope you enjoy it!
This really looks good! What do you suggest to drink with it?
Skip 🙂 xo
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Good god…I simply can’t look at anymore of your posts until tomorrow morning when I have my breakfast in front of me….I am almost tempted to eat my hand right now.
Such amazing photos and works of art.
These Posts are truly beautiful and mouth watering!
Btw thanks for liking one of my Poems! =]
Haha, thanks for the nice comment. Your blog is very interesting and am looking forward to reading more.
I love the melting pot at your home! I’m Jewish and really appreciate your wonderful recipes.
It’s definitely fun learning about the traditions. Thanks 🙂
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yehuda egg matzo is the absolute best!
😀 I agree! So good!