When we were at the beach, one of the couples we were vacationing with made a roasted vegetable lasagna. The dish was a huge hit even with those who normally prefer a meat lasagna…a couple people even ate the leftovers for breakfast the next day! After we arrived home, memories of the lasagna stuck with me and I couldn’t be truly at peace until I made my own summer version of the dish. I used a combination of zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and mushrooms but the recipe is endlessly versatile depending on what’s in season. The roasting of the veggies brings out all their natural flavor and I can promise you won’t miss the meat at all. Another great thing about this dish is that it can be made ahead and baked right before you want to eat it…I assembled my lasagna on Thursday so that we would have dinner all ready for our Friday night dinner guests. Delicious! Nathan didn’t even seem to mind eating leftovers for the next three days.
This was a good solid Italian table wine that paired well with the lasagna. The smooth mellowness of the wine offset the tang of the red sauce and complemented the savory character of the roasted vegetables. I wouldn’t say that there was anything extraordinary about this pairing but the wine did it’s job of heightening the flavor and enjoyment of the lasagna
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I’m not a huge fan of Peroni or any other Italian beers that I have tried. Peroni lacks flavor and body but considering the rich flavors of Italian cuisine it isn’t too surprising that it is super lite and great at washing down heavy dishes like lasagna.
1 pound eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1/2 pound medium fresh mushrooms, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (15 ounce) container reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
Marinara sauce, recipe follows
Coat two 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans with nonstick cooking spray. Place eggplant and mushrooms on a prepared pan. Place the zucchini and yellow squash on the second pan. Combine the oil and garlic; brush over both sides of vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Turn vegetables over. Bake 15 minutes longer. Remove eggplant and mushrooms. Bake zucchini and squash 5-10 minutes longer or until edges are browned.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and egg. Spread about 1/4 cup marinara sauce in a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Layer with four lasagna noodles (noodles will overlap slightly), half of ricotta cheese mixture, half of vegetables, a third of marinara sauce and 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with half of basil. Repeat layers. Top with the remaining noodles and pasta sauce.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until edges are bubbly and cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
1 can whole tomatoes, 28 oz.
1 can diced tomatoes, 15 oz.
1 can tomato paste, 6 oz.
1 small onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, 4 minced and 2 whole
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 and 1/2 tbsp. basil
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle of crushed red pepper
Begin by heating 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large Dutch oven to medium high heat. Add your onion and garlic until translucent (5-10 minutes), stirring frequently to avoid burning. Once the onions and garlic are tender, add your 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes to the pot. With kitchen shears, roughly cut the whole tomatoes into large chunks and give them a stir. Add the 15 oz. can of tomatoes and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Reduce to a simmer. Add your spices (and adjust to taste), and simmer for at least 30 minutes.