Roasted Vegetable Lasagna is perfect for this time of year. Since it's when we have an abundance of fresh veggies to harvest and enjoy. Roasting the vegetables brings out an extra depth of flavour in them, however you use them. You can make this with any vegetables. I'm using some of the late summer harvest in this one with butternut squash, zucchini and sweet red bell peppers. Other options are spinach or kale, mushrooms, or sweet potato. Really the sky's the limit with whatever veggies you want to use. You can even use broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage here.
My favourite part of making this veggie lasagna is roasting the veggies first. You can do this a day ahead, or you can make extra roasted veggies to save just to make this. Butternut squash is so easy to use if you just roast the whole squash, and then you don't have that painful cutting up of the raw squash to deal with. Personally, I can really do without cutting up raw squash; it's just not fun.
A bechamel sauce in this dish lets the veggies be the star and shows off their beautiful veggie colours. This delicious lasagna has three cheeses; ricotta, mozzarella, and Romano. But feel free to sub Parmesan for the Romano, and if you like you can lighten it up by using cottage cheese in place of the ricotta. I like to make this on a weekend and double the recipe so that I can make two; one to eat now and one for the freezer. It's a wonderful thing to have a freezer stocked with meals all ready to go for when life gets busy, right?
Lasagna is a pretty versatile dish, and one that most everyone loves. So if you are looking for some other delicious ways to do lasagna, check out this one for Chicken & Mushroom Lasagna, or this Classic Lasagna with Meat Sauce.
- 1 small butternut squash
- 4-5 red bell peppers
- 1 medium zucchini
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 4 cups milk
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 12 lasagna noodles or 4 sheets fresh lasagna noodles
- 3 tbsp each chopped fresh rosemary, basil, and thyme
- freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 3 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups grated romano cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Prick butternut squash all over with a fork and place on baking sheet. Core, seed and cut peppers in half, placing cut side down on the other baking sheet. Put in oven for about 30 minutes or until peppers have started to blacken, and squash can be pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and put peppers into a covered container for about 5 minutes. The steam will make the skins easy to remove. Allow veggies to cool and then remove seeds from squash and remove skins from peppers and squash. Cut the squash into slices. Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch rounds
- While your veggies are roasting, make your bechamel sauce. Heat milk in the microwave or another pot until not quite boiling. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 5 minutes or until it's a light sandy colour, (not brown). Whisk in milk, one cup at a time stirring constantly until smooth. Add garlic cloves and bring to a boil, cooking and stirring for 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in herbs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Set aside. Your sauce should be thick and smooth, but pourable. If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it by whisking in some white wine.
- If using dried pasta, in a large pot of rapidly boiling water, cook noodles for a couple of minutes less than package directions. Drain and lay noodles out on a clean kitchen towel to dry.
- In 13- x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish, spread 1 cup of the bechamel sauce. Arrange 3 noodles or one sheet of pasta over top; arrange squash slices over top and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese. Top with 1 cup of the bechamel sauce, then 3 noodles, arrange the roasted peppers, then the ricotta mixture, 3 noodles, zucchini slices, 1 cup of the bechamel sauce, 3 noodles, then remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with Romano cheese.
- Cover with foil. Bake in 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese is golden, about 15 minutes. Loosely cover with foil and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.