With a little help from my friends – Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Well, there’s been a marriage to put on. And we moved. And. . .and. . .you know, keeping up a blog is work. But it’s also a joy, particularly when fantastic people like Angela, at Spinach Tiger http://www.spinachtiger.com encourage you to keep writing about your passions – life, people, stories – and food!!Here in the Northwest, we’re enjoying peak season for a wide variety of gorgeous vegetables. Summer squash! Pattypan squash! Leafy greens, radishes, golden beets, fresh corn – the harvest has been a bountiful one this year. And herbs – we have more fresh green herbs in the kitchen garden of our new home then I’ve ever imagined we could! Anybody need some tarragon?I wanted to do something with all these veggies and we were hungry for something with a little authority, a bit of substance. So I thought – “Roasted veggie lasagna”! And yup,  there it was – Martha even had a recipe, which made me eager to come up with my own version. Here it is:

Freshly roasted vegetables make for a gorgeous, seasonal lasagna that’s nutritious, yum, and pleasing to the eye. Find the freshest possible veggies in season for this one – in the Fall and Winter, squash, beets and onion are particularly good.

Ingredients (for one large pan, serves 6-8)

  • About a pint and a half of good marinara sauce (You can buy reasonably good sauce, but it’s easy to make: over medium-high heat, saute 4 cloves garlic, minced, in 1/4C olive oil until fragrant, but not brown. Add 1 TB tomato paste and stir quickly until incorporated. Add 1 large can crushed or diced tomato, or 4 large tomatoes, seeded and diced. Add water, salt and pepper to taste, and 1-2 tsp. crushed dried oregano. Add large splash of red wine or port and 1 tsp. sugar. Cook for 1/2 hour on low-medium, stirring frequently, until sauce is thickened. If you have any, towards the end of cooking is a great time to add a coarsely chopped handful of fresh basil). TIP: Make more, it freezes well.
  •  2 large golden beets, lightly scraped, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  •  2 small-medium zukes, peeled in stripes, cut into 3/8″ rounds (OK, OK, a little thicker than the beets, that’s all, they cook faster)
  • 1 medium pattypan squash, top and bottom thinly sliced off, then sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  • 1 large white onion, sliced into thin (less than 1/4″) strands, for browning, one large shallot, same treatment
  • 1/2 Serrano pepper, seeded, minced (optional, but awfully good!)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into large pieces for roasting (after roasting, slice into strips about 1/2″ wide)
  • 2 fat carrots, sliced lengthwise into 1/4″ thick strips. TIP: Carrots are roughly cylindrical and can be tricky to slice. Try cutting a piece off of one side to flatten that side a bit, then you can rest the carrot on that side and cut it easily into lengthwise strips.
  • 6 pieces of lasagna pasta, your choice – I like the “no boil” type, otherwise, cook following pkg. directions
  • 10-12 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 3/4″ pieces
  • 2 oz. Parm (Reggiano is excellent!) grated fine

Salt, pepper, and any fresh herbs you might happen to have. This is a seasonal thing – I don’t buy fresh herbs at the store if I can help it – for this recipe, I used thyme, Greek oregano, tarragon and rosemary – a total of a good handful of green herbs.


Preheat oven to 400F. In a plastic bag, shake all cut veggies except for onion, garlic, shallot, Serrano pepper with 2 TB olive oil. Place veggies in baking tray in oven and roast until lightly browned, turning as necessary – about 20-25 mins. When they’re done roasting, sliced the peppers into small strips.

While the veggies are roasting, heat a large skillet, add 1 tsp. olive oil and heat until the oil’s a sheen on the bottom of the skillet. Add the onions, shallot, garlic, minced Serrano pepper and a hefty pinch of coarse salt and stir fairly constantly over medium high heat until the onion and shallot start to brown. Cook for two minutes more, then add 2 TB. white wine (small slosh) and deglaze the pan, cooking to reduce the wine just a bit. Set aside for a moment.

Put a spoonful of marinara in the bottom of the pan and spread it around. Cook the pasta according to pkg directions and add a layer to the pan or, if the non-boil type, place a layer in the pan. Top this pasta layer with 1/2 the veggies, chopped fresh herbs, about 1/2 of the browned onion/shallot, about half the mozz, evenly distributed, about 1/3rd the grated parm, bit of salt, couple twists of pepper. Then a bit more sauce and another layer, starting with pasta. For the top layer, reserve a few good lookin’ pieces of roast veggie for the top and use the remainder of the mozz and parm cheese, as well as the remaining veggies and onions.

Pop into the 400F oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes until browned and bubbling. Remove from oven, let sit for a few minutes to rest. Serve with fresh green salad, a crust of good bread and a bouyant white wine, or, heck, with whatever wine or beer you like – I had a Stella and it was excellent! 🙂