Saturday, November 6, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

I hadn't made this lasagna in almost a year but I definitely remembered it.  It had been on my to-make list while I (impatiently) waited for the right season.  And even though we had unseasonably warm weather this week, I decided I had waited long enough.

I made it for dinner Friday night. I roasted the vegetables the night before and it still took me an hour to make and cook after getting home on Friday.  The reason I say this is not to scare you from making it - it is SO, SO worth it! - but to warn you about trying to make it for a quick weeknight meal.  However, if you do the prep work ahead of time, it could be an easy dinner to stick in the oven. And since lasagna typically makes a lot, the leftovers can also be a quick meal (lasagna is also known for being an easily freezable meal, too)!

While I like meat, I didn't even miss it one bit in this lasagna.  It's incredibly hearty and the flavors meld really well together. I love lots of sauce and this roasted tomato sauce is pretty delicious (I added a little extra marinara because I didn't have enough). There are tons of layers in this lasagna, too - it was almost overflowing out of the pan.

To sum it up, let's just say it was so good, we even took pictures!

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
Taken from: Everyday Food
Serves 6-8
  • 14 plum tomatoes (about 3 pounds total), halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced inch thick
  • Feel free to add in extra vegetables - I roasted zucchini and red pepper (but you could also use onions, green peppers, etc) 
  • 2 pounds spinach, trimmed and washed (I had some kale to use, so I did about 1/3 kale and 2/3 baby spinach; swiss chard or mustard greens would work well, too)
  • 1 container (15 ounces) skim-milk cottage cheese (you can also use ricotta, which is more classic but I prefer cottage cheese)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • 9 to 12 no-boil lasagna noodles (preferably whole-wheat)
  • 1/3 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into pieces 

You can actually prep all the steps up to assembling the lasagna ahead of time (up to 2 days before): 
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. On a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, toss tomatoes with 2 tablespoons oil, oregano, and 2 cloves chopped garlic; season with salt and pepper (I also threw cut zucchini and red pepper on one side of this baking sheet, too).
-Brush another rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Arrange squash in one layer; season with salt and pepper. Roast squash until tender, about 20 minutes, and tomatoes until slightly shriveled, about 40 minutes.  Stir veggies about every 10 minutes). In a blender, puree 20 tomato halves. Season with salt and pepper; set aside. 
-In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add 2 cloves garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Gradually add 2 pounds spinach and toss until wilted, about 4 minutes. Transfer spinach to a strainer and press to release liquid. When cool, chop spinach and season with salt and pepper.
-In a large bowl, mix ricotta/cottage cheese, cup Parmesan, egg, and nutmeg until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
-Coat a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Spread one-quarter the tomato sauce in dish (I used about 5-6 oz of sauce), top with 3 to 4 noodles, breaking to fit as needed. Top with half the ricotta mixture, squash (and any other roasted vegetables), one-quarter the tomato sauce, and 3 to 4 noodles. Top with remaining ricotta mixture, cooked spinach, one-quarter the sauce, and 3 to 4 noodles. Top with remaining sauce, mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Parmesan.

 -Set rack in middle of oven. Bake lasagna on a rimmed baking sheet until golden brown at 400 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes. Let lasagna cool 15 minutes before serving.


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