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; Page F01

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