Correction to This Article
A previous version of the recipe for Mushroom Lasagna Bolognese that is associated with this article called for regular Worcestershire sauce. The ingredient should instead be a vegetarian/vegan variety of Worcestershire sauce that does not include anchovies, so that the lasagna can be suitable for vegetarians.
The All-Inclusive Holiday Meal

An Easter Spread With Worthy Options

By David Hagedorn
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Vegetable dishes at holiday dinners get so little attention, they might as well be seated at the children's table.

I say this year we let them upstage the big boys. Leave the lamb, ham and turkey in the wings, and put the veggies front and center -- especially ones that can be made well in advance.

The main attraction, Mushroom Lasagna Bolognese, looks deceptively simple in its casserole dish. Once cut, it is striking: multiple layers of noodles, rich sauce, cheese and a vegetarian version of the famous Italian meat sauce. This one derives its complexity and richness from a "low and slow" melding of porcini, portobello, shiitake and cremini mushrooms.

Side dishes of slow-cooker smoky Roman beans and chipotle-infused greens come together with minimal effort. Main course and sides all develop richer flavors with a day's rest in the refrigerator. The quick corn muffins, made moist with shredded carrots, are frosted with mascarpone cheese to look like special-occasion cupcakes.

Time to stake your claims, vegetarians. Haven't you had enough of the ham hogging all the glory?

David Hagedorn's Chef on Call column appears monthly in Food.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company