With lots of vegetables including zucchini, summer squash and roasted red peppers the lasagna is flavorful, but not at all heavy. We really do not miss the meat. Add your favorite vegetables to this — mushrooms, spinach or carrots would be great.
When you cook the zucchini and squash try not to overcook them — you want them to be tender, not mushy.
Total: 1hr 30mins
Makes 8 Servings
14 lasagna noodles (2 extra for filling in holes)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup (140 grams) chopped onion (1/2 large onion)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1/2 pound)
2 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1/2 pound)
One (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into 1/2-inch pieces, 1 heaping cup
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Generous handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
One (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
2 large eggs
2 ounces (60 grams) parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
8 ounces (230 grams) low-moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil then cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. (We add a couple teaspoons of olive oil to the water so the noodles do not stick together). Drain then lay flat on a sheet of aluminum foil.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Heat olive oil in a wide skillet with sides over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until translucent; 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, zucchini, squash, and a pinch of salt then cook, stirring occasionally until softened but still with some crunch; 5 to 8 minutes.
Stir in the roasted red peppers and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a low simmer and cook until the liquid has thickened and reduced by half; 5 to 8 minutes. Add the basil and season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
MAKE CHEESE FILLING
Stir ricotta, eggs, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl until blended.
Spoon just enough vegetable mixture into the baking dish to lightly cover the bottom (about 1 cup). Arrange four noodles lengthwise and side by side to cover the bottom. (If the noodles are short on one end, you may need to cut an extra noodle and place into dish to cover where the other noodles have not).
Spread about half of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with a third of the parmesan cheese and a third of the mozzarella cheese. Top with a third of the vegetable mixture. Add another layer of four noodles then repeat with remaining cheese and vegetables. Finish with a final layer of noodles, vegetables, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes, uncover then bake 15 minutes until cheese is crusty around the edges. To make the cheese golden brown on top, slide under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes. Let rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
If making ahead, you can cover and refrigerate, unbaked up to 2 days. When you cover, use parchment or wax paper between the lasagna and aluminum foil. Aluminum foil can react with the tomatoes.
The vegetable sauce can be made in advance and should last in your refrigerator up to 3 days and in your freezer for about 3 months. We recommend using freezer-safe glass containers, or double layers of freezer bags to store sauces. To thaw, simply leave it overnight in the refrigerator.
Baked lasagna also freezes well. Let it cool completely on a rack before freezing, and then wrap it very well with foil (we use two layers). Defrost the frozen lasagna overnight in the refrigerator and then bake, covered with aluminum foil, at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes, uncover and cook until well heated through, about 30 more minutes.