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REC: Quick Vegetable Lasagne with Tomato Sauce

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Joined: Dec 18, 2005


Posted to Thread #328 at 1:37 am on Jan 7, 2006

I get requests for this recipe every time I make it for friends.

Quick Vegetable Lasagne with Tomato Sauce

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp chopped basil (or parsley)leaves
Salt and ground black pepper
15 dried 7 x 3-1/2 inch no-boil lasagna noodles (I use Barilla)
3 cups cooked and seasoned vegetables (see below)
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (approx. 1 lb)
2/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat the oil and garlic in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes; simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a large measuring cup. Add enough water to make 3-1/2 cups.

2. Spread 1/2 cup sauce evenly over the bottom of a greased 13" x 9" lasagne pan. lay 3 noodles crosswise over the sauce, making sure they do not touch each other or the sides of the pan. Spread 3/4 cup prepared vegetables evenly over the noodles, 1/2 cup sauce evenly over the vegetables, and 3/4 cup mozzarella and 2 generous tablespoons of Parmesan evenly over the sauce. Repeat the layering of the noodles, vegetables, sauce, and cheese 3 more times. For the fifth and final layer, lay the final 3 noodles over the previous layer and top with the remaining 1 cup of tomato sauce, 1 cup mozzarella, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. (The lasagne can be wrapped with platic and refrigerated overnight or wrapped in plastic and aluminum foil and frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, defrost in the refrigerator.

3. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375F. Cover the pan with a large sheet of foil greased with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes (30 minutes if chilled**); remove foil and continue baking until the top turns golden brown in spots, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the lasagne rest 5 minutes. Cut and serve.

**I find 30 minutes is not enough if going from the fridge. You might want to allow something more like 45.

Cooked Vegetables

My favorite combination with this recipe is sauteed onion, mushroom, yellow squash, and zucchini with a little garlic. I do this all in the same pan, starting the mushrooms a minute or so before the others.

The moisture contecnt of the vegetable determines which cooking technique should be used when preparing it for the above lasagne. For example, high-moisture mushrooms are best sauteed, but low moisture broccoli, must be blanched, chopped, then sauteed.

Toss the vegetables with olive oil before roasting or saute them in olive oil. Season vegetables with salt and pepper as well as fresh herbs, garlic, or hot red pepper flakes, if desired.

Vegetable with Prep and Cooking Method:

Asparagus: Trim tough ends, slice in 1/2 lengthwise & cut into 1/2" pieces. Blanch until crisp tender (1 min.) Drain well, and saute til tender (3 mins.)

Broccoli/Cauliflower: Cut into florets; blanch until crisp-tender (2 min.) drain well, chop into 1/4" pieces, and saute until tender (4 mins.)

Eggplant: Cut into 1/2" dice; roast until tender (35 mins at 400)

Fennel: Cut bulb into v. thin strips; saute or roast until tender (15 mins for saute or 30 mins at 400)

Mushrooms: Trim and slice; saute or roast until golden (8 mins saute or 20 mins at 400)

Onions: Peel and cut into thin slices; saute or roast until soft and golden (5-7 mins for saute or 20 mins at 400)

Spinach/Swiss Chard: Wash, stem, chop. Saute til wilted (5 mins.)

Zucchini: Cut into 1/2" dice; saute or roast til tender, about 7 mins for saute or 35 mins at 400.

From The Complete Book of Pasta & Noodles
(Cooks Illustrated)

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