Sunday, March 24, 2013

Two in One Vegetarian Lasagna...One for Now and One for Later


This is one great lasagna recipe with lots of vegetables that is not only flavorful, but with the addition of the spinach, carrots, and zucchini it is also good for you! So savory and delicious...you will never miss the meat. Give it a try and think you will agree. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Pasta Sauce:

2-24 oz jars of vodka pasta sauce

1- 14 ounce can tomato paste

1-28 ounce can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped


1 tsp sugar


Ricotta Layer:

1-15 ounce container part skim ricotta cheese

1 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped

2 eggs

1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper



Additional Layers:


2 cups baby spinach

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup shredded zucchini

1 package (8-9 ounces) no-boil Barilla or Ronzoni lasagna noodles

4 cups low fat mozzarella, shredded

1/2 cup cheddar



Directions:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.

Add two jars of pasta sauce to a medium sized saucepan. Add tomato paste and diced tomatoes and bring to simmer; stir in herbs and sugar and reduce heat to low and simmer slowly until flavors are blended, about 30 minutes; set sauce aside. (Sauce can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days). Set aside.



Mix ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan, basil, parsley, eggs, salt, and pepper in medium bowl with fork until well-combined and creamy; set aside.

Assemble lasagna. Spread 1/4 cup sauce over bottom of two 8 inch square pans (you can also just bake one 13 by 9-inch.) Place two noodles on top of sauce, evenly space 8 tablespoons ricotta mixture over noodles, and spread gently with a spatula; sprinkle ricotta evenly with 1/2 cup mozzarella; spoon 1/2-3/4 cup sauce over cheese. Divide spinach, carrots, and zucchini into thirds and place one third over first layer of ricotta and cheese.


Repeat layering of noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella, vegetables, and sauce two more times. Place remaining noodles on top and spread with remaining sauce. Cover with remaining mozzarella, Parmesan, and cheddar.


To Bake One: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover dish with foil that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake until sauce begins to bubble around edges, about 10-15 minutes. Remove foil and continue bake until hot throughout and cheese is browned in spots, about 20 minutes longer.


To Freeze One: Wrap 1 square pan with plastic wrap and then cover tightly with foil and freeze for up to 2 months. To Serve: Remove from freezer and place in refrigerator 24 hours before serving. The next day, remove from refrigerator, unwrap pan and cover with foil that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and cover lasagna. Bake 25-30 minutes, then remove foil. Return lasagna to oven and continue to bake until cheese is spotty brown and sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes longer. Cool lasagna about 10 minutes; cut into pieces and serve.

Recipe adapted from: www.cooklikejames.typepad.com