There’s something magical about lasagna that has captivated my heart and taste buds for as long as I can remember. For me, lasagna is more than just a dish; it’s a symphony of flavors, textures, and memories that come together in a perfect, comforting harmony.
I recall one particular day that solidified my love for lasagna. It was a chilly afternoon in London, and I found myself wandering the city streets all by myself, exploring the rich history and culture that the city had to offer. Hunger had set in, and I was desperate to find a warm, inviting place to satisfy my ravenous appetite.
As if the universe heard my plea, I stumbled upon a quaint little restaurant tucked away in a cozy corner of the city. To my delight, this eatery specialized in none other than lasagna! I couldn’t believe my eyes as I scanned the menu, which boasted an incredible array of lasagna options. To my surprise, at least half of them were vegetarian, catering to diverse palates and dietary preferences.
With anticipation and excitement, I ordered a generous slice of extra cheesy lasagna, accompanied by a refreshing lemonade. As I took my first bite, I was transported to a state of pure culinary bliss. The layers of pasta, cheese, and sauce melded together in a heavenly symphony that warmed my soul and lifted my spirits. Sitting there in that charming little restaurant, my heart swelled with happiness and gratitude.
Since that unforgettable day in London, lasagna has held a special place in my heart. Over the years, I’ve experimented with various recipes, trying to recreate that perfect moment of contentment. The recipe I’m about to share with you is my absolute favorite, one that I’ve refined and perfected to bring the same joy and warmth into my home, and now, I hope, into yours as well. So without further ado, let’s embark on this delicious journey together, one delightful layer at a time.
Tips for Preparation
Now that you’ve gotten a taste of the incredible experience this lasagna has to offer, let’s delve into the general steps and some valuable tips to ensure that this recipe turns out perfectly each time. Trust me, once you’ve tried this Roasted Vegetable Cheesy Lasagna, it’s bound to become a staple in your culinary repertoire!
Preparing the vegetables: One of the keys to this lasagna’s success lies in the selection and preparation of the vegetables. Choose fresh, firm vegetables that are rich in color for the best flavor and texture. Roasting the vegetables brings out their natural sweetness, while the olive oil helps to create a crispy exterior. Be sure to slice them uniformly to ensure even cooking.
Cooking the lasagna noodles: Follow the package instructions for cooking the lasagna noodles, but aim for al dente texture to prevent them from becoming too soft during the baking process. Drain the noodles and lay them out on a clean surface to prevent sticking.
Mixing the cheese and egg: The combination of ricotta cheese, fresh basil, fresh parsley, and egg creates a creamy, flavorful layer that complements the roasted vegetables. The addition of the egg helps to bind the cheese mixture, giving it a more cohesive texture as it bakes.
Assembling the lasagna: Be generous with the layers and distribute the ingredients evenly throughout the dish. This ensures that each bite is packed with a delightful medley of flavors and textures. Begin with a layer of marinara sauce at the bottom of the baking dish to prevent the lasagna noodles from sticking.
Baking the lasagna: Bake the lasagna at 375°F (190°C) for a total of 45-50 minutes, covering with aluminum foil for the first 25 minutes to ensure even cooking. Removing the foil for the last 20-25 minutes allows the cheese to melt and become bubbly, resulting in a beautifully golden and crispy top layer.
Resting and serving: Allow the lasagna to rest for 10-15 minutes after baking, as this helps the layers to set and makes cutting and serving much easier. This also gives the flavors a chance to meld together, creating an even more delectable taste experience.
By following these steps and tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating an unforgettable Roasted Vegetable Cheesy Lasagna that will wow your family and friends. So, put on your apron, gather your ingredients, and let’s get cooking!
Roasted Vegetable Cheesy Lasagna
This hearty lasagna is stacked with layers of roasted vegetables and cheese for the perfect vegetarian entree.
- 1 large eggplant sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices
- 2 medium zucchinis sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 large red bell pepper sliced into 1/4-inch thick strips
- 1 large yellow bell pepper sliced into 1/4-inch thick strips
- 1 large onion sliced into 1/4-inch thick rings
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 12 lasagna noodles cooked according to package directions
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Spread the eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and onion slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Toss gently to coat the vegetables evenly.
Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through, until they are tender and slightly golden. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the vegetables cool for a few minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C).
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, chopped basil, chopped parsley, and egg. Mix until well combined and set aside.
To assemble the lasagna, start by spreading 1/2 cup of marinara sauce at the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Layer 4 cooked lasagna noodles on top, followed by 1/3 of the roasted vegetables, 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, and 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
Repeat the layering process with another 4 lasagna noodles, 1/2 cup marinara sauce, the next 1/3 of the roasted vegetables, the remaining ricotta mixture, 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, and 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
Place the final 4 lasagna noodles on top, and spread the remaining 1 cup of marinara sauce over the noodles. Top with the last 1/3 of the roasted vegetables, 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, and the remaining 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake the lasagna in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the lasagna is heated through.
Remove the lasagna from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.