Lasagna is a layered Italian dish baked using wide flat pasta. The layering consists of sauces, cheeses, and vegetables or meat. Here, I have used homemade tomato sauce, spinach, asparagus, bell pepper, and mozzarella cheese for layering.
Vegetable Lasagna with Homemade Tomato Sauce
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes
For the tomato sauce
2 cups crushed tomatoes*
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 medium sized onion, finely chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed dried basil
1/2 tsp crushed dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
For the lasagna
6 lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cup asparagus, woody end removed and cut into 2″ long pieces
1 cup green bell pepper, cut into 2″ long strips
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup spinach, roughly chopped and blanched
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (optional)
1/2 tsp butter to grease the baking dish
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Heat oil in a saucepan. Add minced garlic and fry until brown. Add in the chopped onions, basil, and oregano. Fry until the onions turn translucent. Add in the crushed tomatoes, salt and sugar. When the mixture begins bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Add water to adjust consistency.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a wok on medium-high heat. Add in the asparagus, bell pepper, and sprinkle salt. Roast until the vegetables are semi-cooked.
If using ricotta cheese, mix it with spinach and set aside.
Grease the baking dish (I used a 6″ by 9″ glass dish) with butter. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce and place enough lasagna noodles side by side to cover the sauce completely. Spread another layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of blanched spinach, and a layer of roasted vegetables. Place another layer of lasagna noodles and repeat process until you run out of space. Make sure that the top layer is tomato sauce and it completely covers the lasagna noodles. Sprinkle grated mozzarella cheese and cover the dish with an aluminum foil.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375F. After 45 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and continue baking for another ten minutes.
Serve hot with a soup or bread.
* To prepare crushed tomatoes, blanch washed tomatoes, peel and de-seed them. Pulse in a blender until there are no large chunks.