The snow is melting, the temperature is rising. Spring is most definitely right around the corner. I can almost remember that summer once existed. It was nice, if I’m remembering correctly.
And then, while tidying up my computer’s desktop, I came across some pictures of this bursting-with-freshness summer vegetable lasagna. Suddenly, summer felt real to me. I could remember not feeling cold, the smell of grilling meats, and bright green grass.
Our vegetable CSA provided us with heaps of just-picked veggies all summer, and this recipe used up lots of them. So many, in fact, that my husband declared it “almost too vegetable-y” for his taste. (He really loves my meaty, cheesy bechamel lasagna). I think part of the reason he felt that way was because the carrots were in larger pieces, and added a bit of crunch. That can be solved by either shredding the carrots instead of chopping, or by pre-cooking them a bit to soften.
I love flexible recipes that can be changed up and personalized to what you have on hand, or to your personal preferences. This vegetable lasagna is just that kind of recipe.
It’s easy, too. You start by shredding or chopping up 3 cups of your choice of veggies. I used carrots, a small sweet pepper, kale, zucchini, and onion in this one. It is also fantastic with spinach, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Next you mix up the cheesy ricotta mixture, and get the rest of your ingredients ready to layer.
You can use a jarred marinara in this for sure. I had a couple of jars of tomatoes that I had canned on hand and pureed them for the sauce. I seasoned the puree with Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, hot pepper flakes, a pinch of sugar, olive oil and fresh basil.
I used the no-bake lasagna noodles in this, but you could certainly use regular lasagna noodles. Just be sure to only partially boil them, or you will end up with mush.
Alternate layers of sauce, pasta, mixed veggies, cheese mixture, and shredded mozzarella cheese. End with a layer of pasta, sauce and cheese on top.
Cover pan with foil (I usually spray my foil with non-stick spray to prevent the cheese from sticking), and bake.
Remove foil for the last 10-15 minutes of baking, and be sure to let the lasagna sit for at least 15 minutes before you cut into it.
This vegetable lasagna is hearty enough to be served on its own, with some crusty bread on the side. But it is also delicious served with Italian sausages (grilled, if you can).
Would your family eat this vegetable lasagna?
Here’s the recipe: