I love lasagna with ground beef but when I want comfort food that’s satisfying but not heavy, I make this instead. I try to incorporate seasonal vegetables in my meals whenever possible so in warmer weather, that usually means cold vegetable or pasta salads. But sometimes a cold salad just won’t do. One of the best things about this dish is that you can substitute almost any kind of vegetables you like as long they don’t get mushy when cooked.
5 quarts water
12 dry lasagna noodles
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium zucchini, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, rough chopped
8 button mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 1/2 cups tomato sauce
12 ounces roasted red peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon dried basil
3 minced garlic cloves
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
ground black pepper
15 ounces ricotta cheese
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
large wide (7-quart) pot
medium (10-inch) skillet
medium (3-quart) bowl
3-quart (9″ x 13″) oblong pan
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil in pot over high heat.
2. Add noodles and cook until al dente — about 9 minutes. Drain and separate on platter so that noodles don’t stick together.
3. Heat oil in skillet, then add zucchini, onion, and mushrooms.
4. Stir fry over medium heat until onions are translucent and vegetables are still slightly firm — about 5 minutes.
5. Add tomato sauce, roasted red peppers, basil, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes.
6. In bowl, add egg and 1 teaspoon salt to ricotta cheese, stir well and set aside.
7. Assemble lasagna in pan as follows:
— Pour 1/2 cup vegetable sauce into the bottom of pan and spread to the edges.
— Place 4 lasagna noodles on top, slightly overlapping.
— Gently spread half of ricotta cheese mixture on top of the noodles, then sprinkle a third of the mozzarella cheese on top.
— Pour a third of sauce on top and spread to edges.
— Repeat layering once more in the same order: 4 noodles, remaining ricotta mixture, 1/3 of sauce, and 1/3 of mozzarella.
— Top with remaining noodles, sauce, and mozzarella cheese.
8. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
9. Cover loosely with foil and bake 20 minutes.
10. Remove foil and bake 20 minutes more.
NOTES & TIPS
• If using pre-grated Parmesan, buy it from the dairy case – not the pasta aisle – for best flavor.
• Allow the lasagna to rest about 10 minutes before cutting.
• This is great for a crowd but if you’re a single or making this for a small family, cut it into servings, wrap it up tightly, and freeze it.
12 – 16 servings