Noodle-less Vegetable Lasagna

I’ve made many a lasagna in my life: traditional, tex-mex inspired, veggie with noodles, noodless, and one of my all-time favorites roasted butternut squash white lasagna. But ever since Steve had to go off gluten for good, I’ve been a bit remiss to actually give lasagna another whirl. My noodle-less dishes have always felt a bit sub-par and left me wanting the REAL deal. Until now.

This lasagna is definitely a keeper. It has lots of depth of flavor and feels very hearty. It is, however, a bit time consuming/dish heavy. But I promise. It’s worth every minute of scrubbing.

photo 1

Vegetable Layers

  • 2 small-medium eggplants (I used one regular purple and one white/purple eggplant, but any will do).
  • 1 medium (or 2 small) zucchini
  • 4 small yellow summer squash (I used this really neat “tailed” squash that literally wrapped around like a circle. I can’t seem to find the name of it anywhere! But it tasted just like yellow squash).
  • olive oil, salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven 400.

Peel eggplants & zucchini. I left skin on the summer squash but use your judgement based on how tender the skin appears. Slice the egg plant long-ways about 1/2 in thick. I tried to slice the zuchini and squash a bit thinner.

Arrange the eggplant on 1-2 baking sheets. Brush both sides with olive oil and salt & pepper.

Bake the eggplant at 400 for approx 25 minutes until roasted, flipping 1/2 way through. The goal here is to get rid of some of the liquid from the veg and to deepen the flavor.
*In the future… I might roast both of the other veggies too to decrease the water in the recipe, but really, I don’t think it’s necessary. I did NOT pre-bake the zucchini or squash.

For the Sauce

  • 1 yellow vdalia onion
  • olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (crushed/minced, I used a microplane)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 can quartered tomatoes
  • 10-12 leaves fresh basil, julienned
  • 1-2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1-2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp oregano (dried)

While the eggplant is baking, prepare the sauce. I used a large non-reactive pot. Start with diced onions. Put them in a hot pot with olive oil and brown slightly. Then toss in the chopped garlic cloves and stir for a minute or so being careful not to burn the garlic. Add in the tomatoes & all spices (except the basil). Reduce until the mix resembles a salsa like texture (this should be done in the time it takes to roast the eggplant if you have the heat up med/high). Add in the fresh basil and remove from heat.

*You really could use any combo of tomatoes here… but keep in mind, the goal of this dish is LOW water content. I cooked out almost all of the liquid from the dish leaving it “salsa-like” before using it in the dish. 

For the two cheese layers:

  • 1 container ricotta (15 oz I used organic valley whole milk)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2- 3/4 c. freshly shredded extra sharp white cheddar (organic)
  • 1/4 c. freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

Mix the eggs, salt & ricotta in one dish.

Shred the cheese on a plate or in a bowl. Set aside.

Assembly:

  1. Drop the oven down to 375
  2. In a 9×13 layer in the following ingredients…
  3. Small amount of tomato sauce
  4. All of the eggplant. Mine just covered the bottom with a tiny bit of overlap in the pieces
  5. 1/2 of the remaining tomato sauce
  6. All of the zucchini
  7. All of the ricotta cheese mixture
  8. All of the summer squash
  9. The remainder of the tomato sauce
  10. Top with the shredded cheese
  11. Bake for approx 30-40 minutes
  12. Take out and let rest for at least 10 min before serving.
  13. Top with fresh parsley
  14. Held the pan over the sink to drain out the extra liquid after the rest period. It’s possible that roasting the veggies ahead of time would eliminate this step, but it didn’t bother me at all nor did it affect the flavor all that much 🙂

*You could also add in things like spinach or mushrooms, but again, these would need to be cooked in advance in order to limit the water content of the lasagna.

photo 2

 

*I drew inspiration from:

Foodbabe and Danny Boome on Food Network

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