Vegetable Pesto Lasagna Recipe

 

A guest post from Holly:

 

Lasagna is a dish that can take some time to prepare, but it is a fulfilling meal that is always appreciated.   It also stores extremely well in the refrigerator or the freezer, reheats well, and is inexpensive.  Something I have discovered is that lasagna also offers some opportunities to think creatively and add some complexity, particularly with the sauce and with the addition of vegetables.  We used homemade canned tomato sauce and homemade pesto sauce. My kids love this meal. You can easily modify this recipe by adding in veggies from your Brewers Organics produce box.

lasagne

Ingredients:

Lasagna noodles – 12 oz. package (at least 12 noodles)

2 cups ricotta cheese – part-skim

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese – low moisture part-skim

4 cups tomato sauce

4 tbsp. pesto sauce

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp.  sugar

2 tbsp. olive oil

I large bunch of fresh spinach – chopped

1 ½ cups carrots – shredded or chopped medium-fine

1 ½ cups broccoli florets – chopped medium-fine

1 large tomato – halved and sliced

 

tomato and pesto (1)

Cook the pasta noodles to the point they are cooked, but they remain firm (al dente).  Drain the pasta and lightly coat the noodles with 1 tbsp. olive oil before lining them up on a platter to allow them to cool slightly.  Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to low-medium and place the shredded carrots, chopped spinach, and chopped broccoli in the pan.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.  Set aside vegetable mixture and allow it to cool slightly.  Heat the tomato sauce (we prefer to use canned tomatoes or peeled fresh tomatoes that have been cooked down) to a simmer, adding pesto sauce, sugar, and salt and simmering for another 5 minutes.  Pour the sauce over the vegetable mixture, stir until evenly distributed and allow it to cool.

Put 1 cup of sauce/vegetables in the bottom of a lasagna pan (we use a 14” ceramic stoneware pan).  Set aside 2 cups of sauce/vegetables and ½ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.  Assemble the ingredients in the lasagna pan in the following order in equal amounts per layer:  noodles, ricotta (spread thinly across the noodles – I usually use the back of a spoon), sauce/vegetables, mozzarella, noodles, ricotta, sauce/vegetables, mozzarella, noodles, ricotta, sauce/vegetables, mozzarella, noodles.

On top of the final layer of noodles spread the sauce/vegetables and mozzarella cheese that were set aside and top with sliced tomatoes.

Bake for 25-30 minutes at 325 degrees.

I prefer lasagna that has three layers of noodles four-across, but four-layer lasagna is possible with this recipe.  You just need to allocate the ingredients evenly throughout the layers.  It cooks in the same fashion.  The only difference in the final product is the presence of more pasta.   The only other thing to note is that there is a ton of flexibility with the vegetables you can use in this recipe.  This is also so much fun to involve children in the process of choosing ingredients and assembling the dish itself.

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