Vegetable Lasagna with Herb Cream Sauce


Lasagna is the ultimate make-ahead meal. It can be reheated just before serving.

Yields 1 9 X 12-inch baking dish

1 large zucchini, medium dice (about ¾ pound)
2 yellow squash, medium dice (about 1 pound)
2 red bell pepper, medium dice
6 ounces Button mushrooms, wiped clean and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
1 red onion, medium dice
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling pan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 cups whole milk ricotta (about 1.7 ounces)
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (about 4 ounces)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons dried basil
¼ pound butter
½ cup all purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoon dried marjoram
½ to ¾ pound fresh or dried flat lasagna noodles
4 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. In a large bowl toss the zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and onion with the olive oil and season with the salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Lightly grease 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Spread the vegetables in a single layer and roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the onions begin to brown around the edges. Strain of any accumulated liquid and set aside to cool.

4. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, eggs, 2 tablespoons of the oregano, 2 tablespoons of the basil and mix well until combined. Set aside.

5. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring often for 5-6 minutes until the mixture lightens slightly and begins to gently foam around the edges. Slowly whisk in milk and continue to cook until the sauce thickens and is the consistency of heavy cream. Stir in the remaining oregano, basil, thyme and marjoram. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and set aside.

To Prepare the Lasagna

If using fresh lasagna noodles, there is no need to precook them. If using dried noodles follow the instructions on the package.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease 9 X 12-inch baking dish and spread 1 cup cream sauce evenly over the bottom. In a large bowl combine the remaining cream sauce and the roasted vegetables. Mix well.

3. Place 1 layer of pasta on top of the cream sauce, overlapping the noodles slightly. Add 1 even layer of the creamy vegetables. Sprinkle 2 cups of the mozzarella, evenly over the vegetables. Add a second layer of noodles and spread a thick layer of the ricotta mix (you will use most, if not all, of the ricotta mix) evenly over the noodles. Add a third layer of noodles and spread a final layer of creamy vegetables on top. Finish with the remaining 2 cups shredded mozzarella spread evenly over the lasagna.

4. Cover the lasagna with a piece of aluminum foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil, and place the lasagna back in the oven and continue to cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until mozzarella is golden brown.

5. Let sit for 15 minutes until set and cool enough to slice.