This is a riff on Pioneer Woman's veggie lasagna, but with a couple twists. First, I soak the noodles in boiling water rather than cooking them, which I think helps them stay firmer and less watery in the finished lasagna. Second, I perk up the traditional ricotta filling by adding goat cheese, which makes the lasagna intensely flavorful and just that much more special. —ieatthepeach
lasagna noodles (about 15 noodles)
Boiling water for soaking the noodles
large yellow onion, diced
white (button) or brown (cremini) mushrooms, diced
garlic cloves, minced
crushed red chile flakes, or to taste
large red bell pepper, diced
medium zucchini, diced
medium carrot, finely diced
broccoli florets (from about 1 bunch), cut or broken into small pieces
28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
whole-milk ricotta cheese, at room temperature
goat cheese, at room temperature
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
finely grated Parmesan cheese
In This Recipe
Lay the lasagna noodles flat in a deep-sided dish. Pour over boiling water to cover, and let the noodles soak for 15-30 minutes, or until they’re pliable. (You may want to move the noodles around every few minutes to make sure they’re not sticking together.) Drain the noodles, cover with cold water, and set aside.
In a large deep-sided skillet or saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt, and sweat for 8-10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and starting to color. Add mushrooms and another pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, or until the mushrooms have given up their liquid and started to brown around the edges. Add garlic, chile flakes, and oregano, and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute, or until fragrant.
Add bell pepper, zucchini, carrot, and broccoli to the pan, and cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables are just starting to soften. Add tomatoes and use a woodenly spoon or potato masher to break them up into small chunks. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to keep it at a steady simmer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the mixture is saucy, the vegetables are tender, and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
While the vegetables cook, combine ricotta, goat cheese, and egg in a medium mixing bowl, and mix until smooth. Season generously with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350º F, and place a rack in the top third of the oven. Spread a small amount of the vegetable mixture over the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Place a layer of noodles over the vegetables, tearing the noodles into pieces as needed to cover the bottom of the dish. Spread half of the cheese mixture over the noodles, then top with about 1/3 of the remaining vegetables. Add another layer of noodles, the rest of the cheese mixture, and another 1/3 of the vegetables. Lay down a final layer of noodles, and spoon over the rest of the vegetables. Sprinkle the top evenly with Parmesan.
Lightly grease the shiny side of a sheet of aluminum foil. Cover the pan tightly with the foil, greased side down. Bake on the top rack for 20-25 minutes, or until the lasagna is warm all the way through. Remove the foil, increase the oven temperature to 400º F, and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese on top is starting to brown.
Remove the lasagna from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm. If there are leftovers, cut them into squares, wrap each square tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 2 months.