Roast those tomatoes!
This vegetarian lasagna recipe is one of our family's favorites. I have made it for holiday pot lucks and casual buffets. There is never a scrap left. Using Tinkyada brown rice lasagna noodles makes this classic Italian dish gluten-free.
I created this lasagna recipe after we returned from our honeymoon in Italy, where we devoured roasted vegetables every day. Typically, the vegetables were served as a side dish at room temperature, a palette of jewel tones on a gleaming white plate. Here I have nestled the roasted lovelies into a layered lasagna dish.
4 cups homemade marinara sauce*
4 heaping cups roasted vegetables* see notes
1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 organic free-range egg, lightly beaten
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 dash freshly grated nutmeg
8 oz. goat cheese
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
2 tablespoons fresh minced basil or Italian parsley
Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
Spoon 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a 13 or 14-inch lasagna style baking dish. Arrange three uncooked lasagna noodles in the bottom.
Cover evenly with the roasted vegetables, pressing down with a spatula to make a dense, compact layer of veggies. Top with three or four more lasagna noodles, and press down.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese with one beaten egg, a cup of Parmesan and a dash of nutmeg. Mix well. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the noodles.
Top with a layer of three more lasagna noodles, and press down.
Cover with the remaining sauce. Scatter half of the olives over the sauce. Layer the top with pieces of goat cheese. Dot with remaining olives. Sprinkle with basil or parsley.
Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until the lasagna is hot and bubbling, and the noodles are tender. Check after 40 minutes or so to see if the top is browning; if the cheese begins to brown too much, cover loosely with foil.
Allow the baked lasagna to sit for a few minutes before cutting and serving (this makes it easier to slice and serve).
Makes 6 generous servings, or 8 moderate servings with a salad.
Sauce Note* I add roasted tomatoes to my homemade sauce for a smoky flavor. In a pinch you could use Muir Glen red pasta sauce thinned with a little red wine and a goodly amount of balsamic vinegar.
If you don’t happen to have roasted veggies on hand, here’s a simple recipe to make what you’ll need for this lasagna.
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 each: sweet red, yellow, and green pepper, cored, seeded, sliced into thin strips or chopped
1 cup broccoli florets, cut to small, bite size pieces
1 cup butternut squash, diced small
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 small eggplant, peeled and chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian Herb seasoning, or thyme, sage and oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Toss the vegetables and garlic in a large roasting pan and season with olive oil, herbs, sea salt and pepper. Splash generously with balsamic vinegar. Toss well to coat. Roast the vegetables until they are fork tender; this takes anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes, depending upon your choice of vegetables, and the size of your pan.
Cool and store in a closed container in the fridge for use within two days.