Veggie Lasagna

Veggie Lasagna

We had a dinner party recently and I made this veggie lasagna.  I had every intention of taking photos and blogging it.  But then the wine got in the way.  By “got in the way”, I mean we drank too much and forgot to take photos.  That seems to happen at every dinner party.  Then we ate every morsel of the lasagna, so I couldn’t even take pictures the following day.  So I was forced to make it again.  It’s so good that I’m really OK with that.  Plus now we have lasagna for days and days… and days.

vegetarian_lasagna-1Veggie Lasagna Recipe
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1 pound lasagna
2-3 tbsp olive oil (Separated)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 oz) whole italian tomatoes (squeezed by hand or pureed)
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 c red wine
1 tsp sugar (more if needed)
2 small zucchini, chopped 1/2 inch
2 small yellow squash, chopped 1/2 inch
1 large red pepper, chopped 1/4 inch
16 oz baby bella or white mushrooms, chopped 1/2 inch
20 to 24 oz part skim ricotta
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1/2 c parmesan cheese
2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
8 oz mozzarella, shredded

1. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.  After draining, rinse well with cold water and then lay them flat on a lightly oiled sheet pan.

2. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in medium sauce pan.  Add onions and saute for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and stir around for 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, red wine and sugar. Bring to a simmer, stir often and let cook for 30-45 minutes, or while you’re preparing the remaining ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust seasonings… if too acidic, add a bit more sugar.

3. Heat a little olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the zucchini and squash and saute, stirring often until just barely tender.  Season with salt and pepper and add to a large bowl.

4. In the same saute pan, add another swirl of oil and add the red pepper.  Season with salt and pepper.  Saute until just tender and add to the bowl.

5. In the same saute pan, add 1 tsp of olive oil and add the mushrooms.  Saute until brown and the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.  Season with salt and pepper when they are almost finished.  Add to the bowl.

6. Combine the ricotta, eggs, 1/4 c parmesan cheese and basil in a small bowl and stir well.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

7. Add most of the sauce (except about 1/2 cup) to the bowl of cooked vegetables.  Stir well.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

8. Assemble the lasagna: Add a thin layer of the veggie/sauce mix to the bottom of your large glass lasagna pan.  Mine is about 15 inches x 11 inches.  Cover with slightly overlapping noodles.  I used 4 noodles on the long side and one (with the edge cut off) on the short end. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles.  Sprinkle 1/3 of the mozzarella next and then 1/3 of the veggie/sauce mixture.  Repeat 2 more times, ending with the sauce.

9. So the order is: noodles – ricotta – mozzarella.  Repeat 2 more times and finish with sauce.  Top with the remaining parmesan cheese and cover with aluminum foil.

10. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Remove the foil and increase the temperature to 400.  I also switched on my convection bake option.  Continue baking for about 20 minutes, until bubbly and the top starts to brown.  Remove from the oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Note:  If you like to serve your lasagna with sauce, double the sauce recipe and only add half of it to the vegetables.  I’ll do this next time!