Roasted Winter Vegetable Lasagna is the perfect cozy winter meal ~ Meatless Monday will never be the same!
When it gets this close to Christmas, every day comes with its own list of things that needs to get done, but ‘to do’ lists are useless if you cram too much on them. I’m guilty. I’ll sheepishly scrawl down things that I want to do, but know darn well won’t get done. Somehow it makes me feel better.
Today one of my jobs is to get a big family dinner into the freezer for this week. I only have 8 days with my girls, I don’t want to waste any of it wondering what’s for dinner or doing last minute grocery shopping.
I love lasagna, but I have to admit if they hadn’t invented no cook noodles I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. All the pots and pans and mess turns me off. But lasagna has some redeeming qualities: everybody loves it, and a good sized pan can feed the family for days. It’s really perfect for the week before Christmas.
Open a box of no cook lasagna noodles, pull out your largest casserole dish, a couple of baking sheets for the veggies, and a cutting board. The hardest thing here is thinly slicing the fresh mozzerella. I don’t use fresh ricotta because I think the store bought is actually a little creamier; fresh ricotta doesn’t always melt well. Lots of fresh sage mixed in with the eggy ricotta scents and flavors the whole dish. This roasted winter vegetable lasagna is made like the classic, just substitute roasted vegetables for the meat layer.
The key is to roast the vegetables just long enough to get some color (and thus flavor) without cooking them too much. They’ll cook further in the baking process and you don’t want them mushy. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand, just slice them thin enough so they can be layered between the noodles.
There’s no way around it, lasagna is a bit of an effort, but when I heft that weighty pan from the oven I get a real sense of accomplishment. Speaking of which I guess I need to move on down my list. I reeeealllly hope I didn’t write down clean the refrigerator…
- 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and sliced
- 1 leek, sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced
- a couple of handfuls of Brussels sprouts, quartered
- about a cup and a half of thickly sliced mushrooms
- 3 garlic cloves,whole with skin on
- olive oil
- 1 package of no cook lasagna noodles
- 1 large jar of your favorite tomato sauce, or tomato puree
- 1 14 oz can fire roasted tomato puree (optional)
- 1 1/2 lb of whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- large handful of fresh sage leaves, chopped
- salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 2 -3 8 oz balls of fresh mozzerella, thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Spread the vegetables out on baking pans in one layer. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Roast them in the hot oven just until they brown a bit and are almost tender. This will only take 10 or 15 minutes. Stir or shake the pan once or twice during roasting. After you take the vegetables out of the oven, turn down the heat to 375.
- Squeeze out the roasted garlic from its peel and chop it up.
- Mix the ricotta with the eggs and sage. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Ladle some of the tomato sauce to cover the bottom of your 9x12 lasagna pan and lay a first layer of noodles down. Try to cover most of the space, breaking noodles to fit, if necessary.
- Put down 1/2 of the veggies, 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, and 1/3 of the mozzerella.
- Make 1 more layer the same way. Press down on the noodles lightly as you layer and season with salt and pepper.
- For the last layer put down the noodles, top with sauce, and mozzerella. Make sure all exposed noodles are covered in sauce. No-cook noodles need extra sauce to cook in and absorb.
- Cover loosely with non-stick foil and bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes.
- Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes, and run under the broiler to brown if necessary.
- Let rest for 15 minutes before cutting. Cool completely before freezing.