A hearty roasted winter vegetable lasagna that will satisfy all of your cozy winter pasta cravings. It has alternating layers of noodles, homemade tomato sauce, rich ricotta, steamed spinach, and roasted vegetables.
Oh, Christmas dinner.
Possibly the most contentious meal I make! At least, if you ask my mother.
Every year I threaten to expand her palate by cooking new, exotic, and delicious food (not hard when all she eats is Italian and American food). And every year she calls me in a state of panic about our menu and I end up giving in and making lasagna.
I’m almost going to miss it (the argument, that is) this year. After all, it’s tradition!
While I haven’t decided what I *am* going to make this year, I can say with certainty that it won’t be lasagna.
We’ll be spending the holidays just the three of us in order to keep our families safe, and I fully intend on taking advantage and cooking whatever I want.
Heck, maybe we’ll even order takeout so I can put all my time and energy into focusing on what really matters (ie dessert). C’est la vie!!
Not one to buck tradition entirely (and also wanting to get you a *stellar* showstopping recipe in time for your own holiday cooking plans), I went ahead and made lasagna anyway.
It’s a project, but a worthwhile one, and it will make enough to feed you for a week! So definitely worth the effort.
This recipe has a few different components and, while none of them are particularly difficult, they do take time.
First, start on your homemade tomato sauce. It features simple mix of onion, garlic, carrots, and rosemary and needs to simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. If you’re feeling on the lazy side, feel free to substitute it with your favorite jar of pasta sauce. I won’t tell! OR double the recipe so you can store half in the freezer – your future self will thank you.
While the tomato sauce is simmering, roast your veggies! I used cauliflower and carrots, but honestly any wintry vegetable will do. Butternut squash, root vegetables, mushrooms – feel free to go with what you love.
Once those go into the oven, steam your spinach and mix up the ricotta filling. These are both quick and easy tasks, so just get ’em done.
Finally, it’s assembly time! We are using no-boil noodles here and they make life so much easier. Create alternating layers of sauce, noodles, ricotta/spinach, and roasted veggies! Make sure to cover your noodles with copious amounts of sauce, as this is what will allow them to absorb moisture and get soft. Top with cheese (and then more cheese), cover with greased foil and bake. The lasagna will spend about 2/3 of it’s oven time under the foil and the remaining third without it, so it will have plenty of time to crisp, bubble, and brown.
Allow to cool slightly and set up, then eat like a queen for daaayyyysss.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste
- 20 oz ricotta cheese
- 6 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 large carrots, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 small heads cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 lb baby spinach
- 1 lb no-boil lasagna noodles
- 10 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- olive oil, for greasing the foil
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add in the carrots and rosemary. Cook for another 7 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add in the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes. Add in the crushed tomatoes, then fill the can with water and add that water to the pot as well. Season with salt, a grind of black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Cook for 45-60 minutes, partially covered, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta, mozzarella, eggs, parsley, and parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
- Heat oven to 425F.
- Toss the carrots with 2 tbsp of the oil, ½ tsp salt, and black pepper to taste. Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 35-45 minutes, or until the carrots are tender and golden brown.
- Toss the cauliflower with 2 tbsp of the oil, ½ tsp salt, and black pepper to taste. Spread on a second parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until golden.
- Place the spinach into a large pot with 1-inch of water at the bottom over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with salt. Toss with tongs until wilted. Drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the spinach and then chop. Set aside.
- Spread 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of a deep 9x13-inch baking pan. Add a layer of noodles (it is okay if they overlap slightly).
- Top with 1 cup of sauce, half of the ricotta mixture, and half of the spinach.
- Add another layer of noodles, 1 cup of sauce, and half of the roasted vegetables.
- Add another layer of noodles, 1 cup of sauce, the remaining ricotta mixture, and the remaining spinach.
- Add another layer of noodles and the remaining sauce. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese and the remaining vegetables. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese.
- Grease a large square of foil and place it on top of the lasagna, crimping around the edges to seal it.
- Decrease oven to 350F. Place the baking pan with the lasagna on a parchment-lined baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and increase the oven temp to 400F. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until golden and the edges are bubbling. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.