Summer Vegetable Lasagna

Standard

IMG_4375

This is a dish I’ve been wanting to make for a while and I’m glad I finally got around to it, but man, I could have picked a better day to do it. I made this dish on Friday, another 90º day, and using both my stove and oven probably pushed the temperature in my kitchen to close to 100. Luckily the weather has cooled down a bit for the time being, but I know the heat will likely return soon enough. This is my first summer since I got into cooking that I live in a house with no central air, and I now realize why my mom would  avoid cooking on hot nights in our old house.

This recipe was actually inspired by a meal I used to get at the dining hall back in college. In the vegetarian section, they often served a Vegetable Lasagna with a white sauce. I really liked all the vegetables in it, and having a white creamy sauce rather than the traditional tomato sauce I was used to growing up. Most of the vegetables I chose to use in my version are at their peak during the summer and so it seemed like an appropriate summer dish – other than having to cook in this crazy heat!

This Summer Vegetable Lasagna is filled with fresh summer vegetables, such as zucchini, bell peppers, and spinach, and held together with a creamy garlic ricotta cheese mixture. Nixing the meat and loading up on vegetables makes this dish a lighter choice than traditional lasagna, and still tastes delicious the day after so it’s perfect for making head of time. You can use any assortment of vegetables you’d like, and switch up the sauce, too.

Summer Vegetable Lasagna
makes 1 8 x 8 dish, or approximately 6 large /9 small servings

IMG_4367
Ingredients:

  • 5 cups assorted vegetables, sliced into 1/2-inch strips. I used:
    • 1 medium yellow onion
    • half a red bell pepper and half a yellow pepper
    • half a medium eggplant
    • half a zucchini
    • 4 baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2-3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1.5 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup scallions, chopped
  • spices: a dash of dried basil, red pepper flakes, and salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzerella cheese and 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, mixed together
IMG_4334

Your ingredients, plus the tomato sauce and lasagna noodles

Directions:

  1. Begin by sauteing your vegetables in 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Stir often and cook for about 15 minutes, or until veggies are beginning to get tender. Add in half of the garlic, saute for an additional 2-3 minutes, and remove veggies from heat.
  2. While veggies are cooking, cook your lasagna noodles to al dente.
  3. When your vegetables and noodles are done cooking, preheat oven to 375ºF and lightly spray an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. You will probably need to trim the ends of your noodles to fit in the dish.
  4. Prepare the garlic ricotta mixture by combining ricotta cheese, remaining minced garlic, scallions, and spices. Taste and adjust any spices you find necessary. Stir in beaten egg.
  5. Spoon 1/4 cup of tomato sauce onto greased baking dish and spread evenly. Layer 3 lasagna noodles on top and spread half of garlic ricotta mixture on top, along with another 1/4 cup of tomato sauce. Next, layer with half of the spinach and then half of the sauteed veggies. Sprinkle with one-third of the cheese. Repeat this process for the next layer.
  6. Top off with 3 more lasagna noodles, the remaining cheese, and a few vegetables (if desired). Bake for 20 minutes covered in foil, and then another 10 minutes uncovered or until cheese is completely melted. Let sit for a few minutes before serving, and enjoy!
IMG_4338

Begin by sauteing up those veggies

IMG_4340

and preparing your garlic ricotta mixture using the ricotta cheese, minced garlic, chopped scallions, spices, and egg. You will also want to cook your lasagna noodles during this time.

IMG_4341

Preheat your oven to 375 F and begin assembling your lasagna. First spoon 1/4 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of your baking dish.

July Food

Next, lay down your lasagna noodles over the tomato sauce and then spread half of the garlic ricotta mixture on top, along with another 1/4 cup of tomato sauce (which I forgot to picture).

July Food1

On top of the ricotta, place half of the spinach and half of the sauteed vegetables. Sprinkle a third of the cheese blend on top.

IMG_4346

Repeat this process, and then lay down one more layer of lasagna noodles, and finish off with the remaining cheese and a few veggies if desired. Bake for 20 minutes covered, and then 10 minutes uncovered or until cheese is melted. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

IMG_4379

IMG_4399

Advertisements

3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Grilled Veggie Lasagna | Simply Sophisticated Cooking

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s