Vegetable Lasagna

Eating on the run, it’s an unfortunately reality of today’s time-crunch lifestyle. But Sunday Dinner is a time when our families and friends can gather, slow down and catch up, if only for a few hours. Sunday dinner is also special because it allows the person cooking to take a little more time and perhaps make a meal that is slightly more complex and time consuming.

I try to make all of the recipes here pretty healthy and this is no exception. I don’t think you will miss any of the fat, and as always please consider this recipe an outline. Lasagna has so many forms, this is but one…

yield: Makes 9 servings (this recipe is for a 9″ square pan)

Vegetable Lasagna

ingredients:

Butternut squash

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 minced clove of garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 425º. Cut the butternut squash in half and de-seed. Drizzle each cut side with olive oil, salt and pepper. Divide and rub garlic on each half. Line a cookie tray with foil and place the cut sides of the squash face down. Cook for 45 minutes. Cool. Scoop out flesh in a bowl, mash and reserve. Taste and adjust seasoning.

 

Spinach and mushroom ricotta filling

  • 6 ounces of spinch
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 12-ounce container fat-free ricotta cheese
Place washed spinach, mushrooms, salt, and pepper in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Cool. Place spinach mixture in a tea towel, and wring out all of the moisture out over the sink. Remove the vegetables from the towel to a cutting board and chop finely. Return to bowl, add ricotta and mix thoroughly.

 

Mornay Sauce (bechamel sauce with cheese)

Melt butter in medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, add the flour. Mix until flour is completely absorbed, continue stirring until a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to stir with a whisk. Do not walk away from the stove at this point, the sauce can burn and boil over. Do not let the sauce go above a simmer. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens. Take off the burner and add the grated cheese.

The assembly

  • Mashed Butternut squash
  • Ricotta Cheese mixture
  • Mornay sauce
  • 1 4-ounce package of part-skim mozzarella cheese (grated)
  • 1 box of no-boil lasagna noodles

 

Preheat oven to 350º. lightly grease a 9″ square pan with spray canola oil. Add a thin layer of Mornay sauce to the bottom of the pan, all the way to the edges. Add a single layer of the lasagna noodles, slightly overlapping. Add a layer of ricotta cheese mixture, spreading cheese all the way to the edges. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese and a thin layer of Mornay sauce. Add another layer of the noodles overlapping edges. Spread a layer of the butternut squash evenly next. Add the last layer of noodles, top with mornay sauce (you may have a bit left over) and the rest of the mozzarella.

Spray the dull side of a piece of foil with canola oil. Cover the lasagna and cook covered for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue cooking until the lasagna is bubbling and brown on top, 15 minutes more. Cool before slicing.

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