Saturday, August 30, 2008

Garden Vegetable Lasagna

As I've been developing my culinary skills and interest, I've noticed that while I tend to try new things, I really enjoy experimenting with things I love and trying new variations.

I love a good lasagna (I am my father's daughter! Hi Daddy!) and was excited to try Jenny's garden version. Same great flavor with the added veggies tucked right in - so side dish needed!

I admit that I was very skeptical about the sauce - it just seemed so THICK and pasty! But it really delivered and everyone ate it. The marscarpone gave it a little bit of added flavor and texture, and the veggies... MMMM!!! A great meal for summer, and a great way to lighten up such a classic.

It does take a bit to prepare (plus the hour baketime), so it's not a good work-week dinner, but when you have the extra time to devote to your dinner, it's totally worth it.

Homemade Pasta Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup finely diced white onion
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1. Heat oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion for 5 minutes, stirring often then stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, tomato paste and basil leaves. Reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to use.

Vegetable filling

  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 2 Cups broccoli florets
  • 2 Cups diced eggplant
  • 4 Cups fresh baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • Pinches of salt
1. Heat oil into a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Saute all ingredients for 10-12 minutes, season with a couple pinches of salt, stirring often or until softened to your liking. Cook longer for softer texture. Reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to use.

Ricotta Mascarpone Layers

  • 1 ½ pounds part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 Cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ Cup soft mascarpone cheese
  • 2 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
1. Place all ingredients into a large bowl; stir until well combined.

  • 9 oz oven ready lasagna noodles

To Assemble:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat bottom of a large 9x13 inch baking dish with a couple ladles of homemade sauce. Next, layer with lasagna noodles. Spoon 1/3 Ricotta Mascarpone mixture over noodles, spreading slightly (I used my fingers). Top evenly with 1/3 vegetables. Repeat this process 2 more times or until all ingredients are used up. The top layer should be lasagna noodles. Pour remaining sauce over noodles then sprinkle with 2 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake covered for 45-50 minutes, then remove foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.

2. Let sit in pan for 15 minutes before cutting into it. Serve and enjoy!


  1. Wow! 4 kinds of cheese? Vegetables mixed right in? I can't wait to make this!

  2. Wow, that looks delicious. And complicated. Glad it was worth it!


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