This past Thursday I got together with a few friends for the first Dinners With Dan Dinner Party. It was an absolute blast! I will post about all of the dishes in a little bit, but I wanted to at least share with you the dish I made for the evening, and that I think turned out extraordinarily well: an all-vegetable lasagna. I had never made the recipe before, and I’ve adjusted it below to how I made it, but I definitely recommend this!
What you’ll Need:
- 1 onion
- 1 (8-ounce) package baby bella mushrooms
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 yellow squash
- 2 bell peppers (I used one red and one yellow)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme – which is what I did)
- 1.5 tbsp fresh oregano, minced (or 1 tbsp dried oregano – which is what I did)
- 6oz package baby spinach
- 3 cups tomato sauce (or one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes – which is what I did)
- Dry lasagna noodles
- 3-4 cups ricotta cheese
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
How to Make It:
Dice the onion, zucchini, squash, and bell peppers into very small pieces. (Ideally no pieces will be larger than a centimeter in any direction.)
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Preparing the vegetables:
In a large skillet over medium heat, warm some olive or vegetable oil. Once hot, add the onions and cook until they are just starting to turn translucent (about 4min). Add the mushrooms (I did not dice the mushrooms, I left them as they were, but that is personal preference. Feel free to dice them as well!) and cook until they have withered down, released their liquid, and most of that liquid has evaporated (about another 4min or so). Add some more olive or vegetable oil and add in the zucchini, squash, and bell peppers and cook until they are all soft (about another 4min or so).
After all the vegetables are soft, add the garlic, salt, thyme, and oregano. There are two ways to do this: one is by clearing the center of the pan, adding a dash of oil, and putting all the spices there to cook for a few seconds (until the garlic is turning golden) and then mixing everything together, or by just throwing all the spices on top of the vegetables and mixing. I did the latter as the pan I was using wasn’t big enough to spare the space in the center… Next, scatter the spinach over everything and stir until the spinach is wilted. This shouldn’t take too long, maybe 3-4min. Remove the skillet of vegetables from the heat.
Preparing the lasagna:
In a 9×13 baking dish, spread a few spoonfuls of the tomato sauce on the bottom. Lay lasagna noodles over the top (I could fit four across with the noodles I was using). Spread 1-1.5 cups of ricotta over the noodles (however much you desire to cover the noodles), then half of the vegetables. Top this with 1 cup of the tomato sauce and 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella. Put down another layer of lasagna noodles, another 1-1.5 cups of ricotta (or enough to cover the noodles), the remaining vegetables, 1 more cup of the tomato sauce, and 1 cup more of the shredded mozzarella. Put down one more layer of lasagna noodles and top with the remaining tomato sauce and then the remaining ricotta. (Keep the remaining shredded mozzarella for later.)
Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour. After one hour, check to see if the noodles are done by poking the lasagna with a knife, and the knife should slide through all the layers. If it doesn’t, cover and cook for another 15min. When everything is done, sprinkle the remaining cup of mozzarella over the top and bake, uncovered, for about 10min, or until the mozzarella is browned and bubbling.
Remove the lasagna from the oven and let it cool for at least 15 minutes before serving, and then enjoy!
- This recipe is derived from the one posted here.
- This recipe was made in a convection oven, so the cooking times may vary when using a conventional oven. In particular, if the mozzarella at the end melts but does not brown or bubble, turn the oven to broil and broil the top of the lasagna for 1-2min to get the mozzarella to finish.
- The vegetables used may have a fair amount of liquid when putting them into the baking dish. This is fine. It’ll help the lasagna cook. (I still did drain them a bit before putting them into the dish so there wasn’t TOO much liquid.)
Until next time, happy cooking!