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Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
A light, but cheesy, lasagna! Adapted from Michael Natkin's recipe in "Herbivoracious". Adapt it to use whatever veggies you have, eggplant, roasted peppers, Swiss chard, even partially cooked winter squash. The lemon zest is a nice bright note in the sauce. Don't skimp on the browning of the squash, the caramelization adds a lot of flavor and it gets rid of excess moisture that can make the finished product watery. It's the most fiddly and time-consuming part of the recipe, but well worth the effort. You could roast the vegetables in the oven or under the broiler to cut some fat, but you'll have to watch them very carefully. It can also be done ahead of time and held until needed, along with the ricotta mixture and the sauce. It seems like an awful lot of sauce, but the noodles soak it up. Barilla recommends freezing lasagnas made with their no-boil noodles after baking, not before.
- 4 medium summer squash, sliced lengthwise, 1/8-inch thick
- 4 large portobello mushroom caps, sliced 1/8-inch thick on a bias
- olive oil, as needed
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large cans tomato sauce
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 (1 lb) package no-boil lasagna noodles
- 12 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
- 3 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large skillet or griddle over high heat, fry the squash and portobello mushrooms in olive oil. Fry each in a single layer, doing as many batches as needed. Cook both sides until well browned and the vegetables are cooked though. Remove to paper towels and season with salt.
- Season the ricotta with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste, then beat in the eggs.
- Saute the onion & garlic in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, add the tomato sauce and lemon zest, simmer 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings, if needed (original recipe adds 1 teaspoons salt at this point, but I omit it).
- Spray an 11" x 13" pan (at least 2" deep). Build the layers as follows, being sure to get the noodles quite wet, as they need plenty of moisture. You might have a bit of extra sauce, but I use it all up.
- Put 1 1/2 Celsius sauce in the bottom of the pan, then a single layer of four noodles, overlapping them slightly, 1/3 of the cooked vegetables, 1/2 the ricotta, and 1 cup sauce.
- Put another single layer of noodles in the pan, top with 1/2 the remaining vegetables, 1/2 the mozzarella, and another cup of sauce.
- Put another single layer of noodles in the pan, the last of the vegetable, the remaining ricotta, and 1 cup sauce.
- Make another single layer of noodles and top with one cup of the sauce (I use ALL the rest of the sauce).
- Finish with the remainder of mozzarella and the Parmesan, mixed together. Cover the pan with aluminum foil which has been sprayed to prevent the cheese from sticking to it, and bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake another 30 minutes, or until the noodles are tender and the sauce is bubbling around the sides, or the internal temperature is 170°F sauce is bubbling around the sides.
- Allow to rest at least 15 minutes before serving so it firms up.