Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vegetable Lasagna

I love lasagna but have never tried a vegetable lasagna.  I've been trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my menu, and this looked like a tasty way to do it.  I used a recipe from The Food Nanny's book, and a marinara from American Pie -adapting each.  It was quite time consuming - which lasagna always is, but this was more so due to the number of veggies to chop - however, I felt great about serving it to my family.  1st day in a long time I feel like they got enough veggies in them for the day.

Here is our version of Vegetable lasagna from this evening.


  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 (15 oz.) container ricotta 
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (but I didn't measure)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I used a handful of tiny sweets (red, yellow and orange) from costco)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 2 large handfuls fresh spinach (2 cups)
  • 1/2 container diced olives (or 1 full contain of the sliced)
  • 1 jar marinara (26 oz) or recipe below
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions until slightly chewy, about 10 minutes.  Drain and carefully drape over the side of the colander or pan so they don't stick.  (I loved this tip -never do it, but it took a long time to finish everything and I was glad they were draped over the pot they cooked in.)
  2. Combine the ricotta, egg, 1/2 cup Parmesan and basil in a bowl.  Set aside
  3. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook and stir onions for 2-3 minutes - then add peppers, carrots and garlic and continue stirring for 8-10 minutes more - until carrots are tender.  Add zucchini and spinach. (I chopped my spinach with my cooking scissors a bit so it would be in a bit smaller chunks.)  Cook and stir until spinach wilds and all the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the olives.
  4. Heat oven to 375 and grease a 9 X 13 pan.
  5. Spoon about 1/2 cup of marinara sauce in to the pan.  Arrange 4 noodles, overlapping on top of the sauce.  Top with 1/3 of the ricotta mix, 1/3 of the vegetable mix, 1/3 of the marinara sauce, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 2 Tablespoons of the remaining Parmesan.  Add 2 more layers in order -noodles, ricotta, vegetables, marinara, mozzarella & Parmesan.  (I added the extra mozzarella on top - I was generous.  I wanted it nice and cheesy.  The book had you dot it with butter then drizzle with olive oil when it got out of the oven.  I just figured why not put extra cheese instead.  Sounded better to me.
  6. Bake 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and it is heated through.

Marinara sauce ingredients
  • 1 15 oz can tomato puree
  • 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/3 teaspoon pepper (I know crazy measurement, I just filled my 1 teaspoon up a little under 1/2 so I'm calling it 1/3)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  

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