I am always a little skeptical about whether lasagna is really, truly worth it. I mean, we’ve all had it one million times, and it’s always kinda the same. But every once in a while I run across a recipe that restores my faith in lasagna, and this was one of them. Roasted vegetable lasagna that involves a sauce made of roasted tomatoes and a filling that includes roasted butternut squash and sauteed spinach.
It all comes together for a beautiful layered look that melts the heart of even a lasagna-doubter like myself…
I used lovely fresh mozzarella and ricotta and that helped (and in case you have not heard me go on and on about my adventures in ricotta-making, please click here. Or you can do what normal people do and get your fresh ricotta at Whole Foods.)
So if you are looking for a delicious and different lasagna, this ones for you. It also uses those no-boil noodles that I never think are going to work but they always magically DO! It’s one of the great mysteries in life.
Adapted from Everyday Foods
- 14 plum tomatoes (about 3 pounds total), halved lengthwise
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced inch thick
- 3 bunches (about 2½ pounds total) spinach, trimmed and washed
- 1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- ¼ teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
- 9 to 12 no-boil lasagna noodles (from a 9-ounce package)
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into pieces
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss tomatoes with 2 tablespoons oil, oregano, and two-thirds the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Brush another rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Arrange squash in one layer; season with salt and pepper. Roast squash until tender, about 20 minutes, and tomatoes until slightly shriveled, about 40 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. In a blender or food processor, puree the tomato halves. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add remaining garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Gradually add 2 pounds spinach and toss until wilted, about 4 minutes. Transfer spinach to a strainer and press to release liquid. When cool, chop spinach and season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, cup Parmesan, egg, and nutmeg until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
- Lightly oil a 9-inch square baking dish. Spread one-quarter the tomato sauce in dish, top with 3 to 4 noodles, breaking to fit as needed. Top with half the ricotta mixture, the squash, one-quarter the tomato sauce, and 3 to 4 noodles. Top with remaining ricotta mixture, cooked spinach, one-quarter the sauce, and 3 to 4 noodles. Top with remaining sauce, ½ pound mozzarella, and cup Parmesan.
- Set rack in middle of oven. Bake lasagna on a rimmed baking sheet until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let lasagna cool 15 minutes before serving.