Farmer's Market Lasagna
It's hard to resist great looking eggplant, zucchini and bell peppers at the farmer's market, and this meatless lasagna is a great way to work their great, fresh flavors into a satisfying, economical and healthy meal. Much lighter than a traditional meat lasagna, this is delicious served with a Caesar salad and a glass of your favorite Pinot Grigio.
- 2 medium eggplant
- 4 small zucchini
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 8 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
- 2 cups strained tomatoes, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped, divided
- 1-1/4 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup finely shredded asiago cheese, divided
- 10 no-cook lasagna noodles
- 1/4 cup finely shredded mozzarella
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray and set aside.
Peel the eggplant and cut lengthwise into slices approximately 3/8-inch thick. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer, brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Cut the zucchini lengthwise into eighths. Arrange in a single layer on the other baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Place both the eggplant and zucchini in the oven to roast for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender and just beginning to brown. Rotate the baking sheets if necessary for even cooking. Remove and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
While the zucchini and eggplant roast, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the diced red pepper and continue cooking for about 2 more minutes, then add the mushrooms. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, or until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In the same pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the fresh chopped tomatoes, 1 cup of the strained tomatoes, oregano and crushed red pepper. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, then whisk in the butter and 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Shut off the heat and set aside.
While the sauce cooks, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, 1/2 cup of the shredded asiago and the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley.
Coat an 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Ladle about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the strained tomatoes into the bottom and spread around. Place a bottom layer of 2 lasagna noodles on top. Spread the reserved bell pepper, onion, mushroom mixture over the noodles. Top with about 1/2 of the fresh tomato sauce and a bit of the remaining shredded asiago, then add another layer of noodles.
Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the noodles to within about 3/4-inch of the edges. Top with another layer of noodles.
Arrange the roasted zucchini in a single layer, top with about half of the remaining tomato sauce and a little more asiago cheese. Place another layer of noodles on top and arrange the eggplant as evenly as possible. Top with the remaining sauce and asiago. Add the final layer of noodles and spread the rest of the strained tomatoes over the top, being careful to coat the edges of the noodles to keep them moist.
Tent a piece of foil over the baking dish, sealing the edges to prevent drying out. Place on a baking sheet to prevent any spills and bake for 55 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top. Return to the oven until the cheese is melted, about 5 to 7 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.
Makes 8 servings
Depending on the size of your vegetables and how much they might shrink in cooking, you may find you have a bit too much filling for some layers and a little less on others, but don't let it worry you - it will be perfect once it's cooked, regardless. Also, this recipe can be made ahead, refrigerated and reheated (covered at 325°F for 45 minutes) without compromise. In fact, it will only develop more flavor.
Be sure to check out our recipe for Sausage, Pancetta And Portobello Lasagna too!