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Author Notes: This recipe is a little fussy because everything except the cheese is made from scratch, but the light and fresh layers of sweet and savory flavors and aromas make it more than worth the effort. Also, this lasagna is fairly light on the sauce so that it doesn't overwhelm the other flavors, but it's still incredibly moist and practically melts in your mouth. —JackieK
- 6 Roma tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1-1 1/2 cups water
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Remove the cores from the tomatoes and score an “x” on the bottom. Also prepare an ice bath.
- Place the tomatoes in the boiling water for 1 minute, then remove and submerge in the ice bath. Repeat this process one more time; the skins will crack. Once the tomatoes have cooled, use a paring knife or your fingers to remove and discard the skins. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and remove and discard the seeds, then dice the tomatoes.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the diced red bell pepper. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes, then stir in the diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook until the tomatoes begin to soften and release water, about 5 minutes.
- Season the sauce with fresh basil, sugar, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper and let cool to room temperature. Stir in 1 to 1 1/2 cups room temperature water just before assembling the lasagna.
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
- 4 cups flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- pinches salt
- water, as needed
- 1 recipe tomato-basil sauce
- 1 eggplant, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 yellow squash, sliced into thin rounds
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
- 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- To make the lasagna noodles: Use a clean work surface such as a counter top or large cutting board, wood is best. Set the flour in a mound and make a well in the center using your fingers. Crack the eggs in to the well and pour in the olive oil, salt and about 1 tablespoon water. Whisk the eggs with a fork, gradually incorporating the flour. Once you’ve incorporated as much flour as you can with the fork, set it aside and begin kneading the dough with your hands. Add more water as needed, 1 teaspoon at a time. Be careful not to let the dough become wet. Continue kneading for five minutes after the dough forms a ball. Knead by rotating the dough in quarter turns and pressing the half closest to your body over the other half with the heel of your hand. Knead until the dough becomes smooth, firm and slightly elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Divide the dough into four pieces. Keep each piece covered while working with the others so it doesn’t become dry. Lightly flour the counter top and press the dough into a rectangle. Adjust the pasta roller to the widest setting and slowly feed the dough through. Return it to the counter and fold the dough into thirds. Feed it through again. Repeat five times in total, dusting with flour as needed. Now roll the dough one time through each of the remaining settings until you reach the desired thickness, usually the second-to-last setting (on my model it is setting #7). Repeat until all the dough has been rolled. Cut the dough into strips the length of the baking dish.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Soak the sliced eggplant in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. Drain well. Arrange the sliced eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash on two greased or nonstick baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables in the oven until soft and lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
- Decrease the oven temperature to 375°F and coat a 15-inch by 12-inch lasagna pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the lasagna noodles two at a time for 90 seconds. Drain the noodles from the pot and lay on a baking sheet or cutting board in a single layer to cool.
- In a bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pinch pepper.
- Spread a thin layer (about 1/4 cup) of tomato-basil sauce evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish, then lay 2 long pieces of lasagna noodles over the top. Use your fingers to spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture evenly over the noodles, then lay the eggplant slices over the top in a single layer.
- Spread half of the remaining sauce over the eggplant and top with 2 more lasagna noodles, followed by the mozzarella cheese. Arrange the roasted zucchini and yellow squash over the cheese and top with the remaining sauce. Lay the last 2 noodles over the sauce and top with the rest of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake at 375°F for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes uncovered. Let the lasagna cool slightly before serving.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Baked Pasta