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!
Baking temperature: 350
Baking time: About an hour and 15 minutes
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!)
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
- Cook lasagna noodles. Yes, you can use no boil noodles, but I’m partial to the old school ones.
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 13 X 9 pan with non-stick spray. Make sure you get the sides!
- 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.
- Reserve veggies in a mixing bowl. Add the oregano, basil, ricotta, the Parmesan and 2 cups of mozzarella. Then add the eggs.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake, covered, until bubbly, about an hour. Uncover and cook until cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.