Prep 45 mins
Cook 50 mins
Although it is not listed in the cheese mixture ingredients you may also add in one slightly beaten egg if desired --- to save some time and to further increase the flavor I strongly suggest to prepare the sauce up to 1-3 days ahead, just warm before using in the recipe, preparing ahead will allow the flavors to "ripen" and intensify you will really notice a difference in flavor if made ahead.
- 9 lasagna noodles, cooked (I suggest to cook a few more in case of breakage)
- 1⁄3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or more if desired)
- 3 -4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 5 -6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped (do not mince)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil (rubbed between fingers to release the flavors)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano (rubbed between fingers to release flavors)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to heat level) (optional)
- 2 cups zucchini, finely diced
- 1⁄2 lb fresh sliced mushrooms
- 1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons seasoning salt (or to taste)
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 4 cups ricotta cheese
- 1⁄4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 1⁄2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
- Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
- For the sauce (this is strongly recommended to make 1-3 days in advance and refrigerate) heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add in onion, chopped garlic, basil, oregano and chili flakes; saute for 3 about minutes.
- Add in zucchini, sliced mushrooms, carrots and bell pepper; cook stirring for about 4 minutes.
- Add in tomato paste; stir for 1 minute.
- Add in crushed and diced tomatoes with juice; bring to a boil over medium heat stirring.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 35-40 minutes (season with salt and pepper about halfway through cooking time, DO NOT cover the pot or the sauce will become thin).
- In a bowl combine all filling ingredients until well blended.
- TO ASSEMBLE.
- Remove 2 cups of sauce and set aside (this will go on top of the lasagna after layering).
- Spread one-third of the sauce into bottom of the baking dish.
- Place 3 cooked noodles over the sauce.
- Place HALF of the cheese mixture over the noodles.
- Repeat the layers; one-third sauce, 3 noodles, then remaining cheese mixture.
- Top with remaining one-third sauce then 3 noodles.
- Spread the reserved 2 cups of sauce over the top (covering the noodles).
- Sprinkle 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese over the top of the sauce.
- Cover and bake at 350 degrees F (bottom rack) for 45 minutes.
- Uncover and sprinkle 1 cup or more of mozzarella cheese on top then return to oven and bake uncovered for anoth 5-8 minutes.
- Allow to rest for 15 minutes or more before slicing.