Writer.Chef.Romantic.

Ooey Gooey Cheesey Garden Lasagna

Garden Lasagna_Usen

I discovered this recipe while working as a nanny in Nashville, TN, in 1994, and I’ve been using it ever since. I was entering my vegetarian phase (cut short by a quail hunt in Georgia, my college graduation present), and I’d never had anything so good that didn’t contain meat. It was a revelation of rich, smooshy deliciousness, hopped up by garlic and herbs! Fabulous! Some people might call me a cheater, since I use jar sauce, but I’m at peace with that since my husband, Farmer Ben, grows the carrots, zucchini, and squash in his garden. That makes it a push, right? I grate the veggies, cook them down, and mix them with mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan until it becomes a cheesy mass of splendor. Then I layer it with sauce and noodles and bake it until it bubbles. We serve the lasagna with greens from the garden, my favorite balsamic vinaigrette (recipe here: https://amandausen.wordpress.com/balsamic-vinaigrette/), and bread (because we do love our carbs). To have the most fun with this recipe, use a food processor, fitted with a grater attachment, to grate the veggies. Now THAT is summer bliss!

Garden Lasagna

Baking temperature: 350

Baking time: About an hour and 15 minutes

Servings: 12

12 Lasagna Noodles

2 teaspoons olive oil

Grated vegetables to equal 7 cups. I used 2 zucchini, 1 yellow squash, and 5 carrots.

2 medium onions, small diced, about 1 generous cup

6 cloves of garlic, minced

½ teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried basil (fresh is nice, too!)

3 eggs

15 ounces ricotta cheese…or 2 pounds if you love cheese!

4 cups shredded mozzarella (or 2 cups mozzarella and the equivalent of 2 cups provolone for the top)

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 jar of tomato sauce

 

  1. Cook lasagna noodles. Yes, you can use no boil noodles, but I’m partial to the old school ones.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 13 X 9 pan with non-stick spray. Make sure you get the sides!
  3. Sweat the carrots, squashes, onions, garlic, and salt in the olive oil over low heat until they are nice and soft and the liquid evaporates.
  4. Reserve veggies in a mixing bowl. Add the oregano, basil, ricotta, the Parmesan and 2 cups of mozzarella. Then add the eggs.
  5. Layer the sauce, noodles and ricotta mixture in the pan. Start by putting one cup of sauce in the bottom. Then add an overlapping layer of noodles and 1/3-1/2 of the ricotta mixture, depending on how tall your pan is and how many layers you want to make. Continue the layers until the ricotta mixture is gone.
  6. For the top layer, use lasagna noodles, all of the remaining sauce (I usually swish about 1 cup of water around in the jar and pour that in, too) and the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella.
  7. Bake, covered, until bubbly, about an hour. Uncover and cook until cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

 

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