I like being in a recipe club because it forces me to think outside of my usual food box. I’m exposed to a whole new variety of dishes, from all around the country, that were usually made and enjoyed in hotels and restaurants. It’s also really fun to be given the same challenge as some of your blogging friends and see how differently we all interpret the recipe. For this month’s Burwell General Store Recipe Swap, our recipe was Tomato Pudding.

I’m sorry, come again, a sweet tomato pudding?? I have NEVER heard of such a thing… I realize tomatoes can be sweetened, like tomato jam, YUM. But in a pudding, not for dessert, for a side dish. Um, no thanks. I’ll pass. I mean, if it was put in front of me, I’d try a bite, I’m not even saying I wouldn’t like it, I might. But I had NO desire to make it.

I looked at the recipe a few times to gather inspiration on what changes to make, what direction I should take it. Should I stay in the sweet category, move to savory, make it an appetizer, or an entree??? It didn’t take me long to decide I needed to turn this recipe into lasagna. And that was that.

Sure, you don’t need to make all the ingredients from scratch, you can buy sauce and ricotta. BUT, they are SO easy to make, like soooooo easy, that I encourage and challenge you to make them yourself. I’ll even give you a timeline. It will take only a few minutes a day each day, and on the final day you’ll have a homemade lasagna that will feed an army, or give you leftovers all week.
I made this for Easter and followed this exact timeline. Easter Sunday all I had to do was pull the pre-baked lasagna from the fridge, pop it into the oven, and about an hour later, voila, lasagna is served.

Day 1: make the marinara Sauce
Day 2: make the ricotta
Day 3: Roast veggies
Day 4: Assemble and bake lasagna, eat lasagna
Day 5: Refrigerate or freeze for later.

See, so all the prep time spent in the kitchen will be justified when you don’t have to spend barely anytime in the kitchen because you’ll have leftovers!

Notes:
Layering the lasagna isn’t complicated, but because there are a lot of layers and ingredients, the instructions seem long. Basically, as long as you start with a layer of marinara sauce, then a layer of noodles, and top the entire thing with tons of mozzarella, whatever is in between all of that will be juuuuust fine. Lasagna is pretty forgiving.

If you’re using no boil noodles, you’ll want to make sure there is sauce as a layer next to your noodles, to give them some moisture to cook the noodle.

For the ricotta, I tripled my homemade version and used all 1% lowfat milk. You can lower the amount in the recipe to 2 cups (1 16 oz container) but I LOVE ricotta so I added extra.

The marinara sauce recipe makes more than you’ll need for the lasagna. The leftovers can be store in the fridge for for a week or so, or frozen for a few months. I’ll be posting a recipe soon for what I did with my leftovers!

If you make the lasagna ahead of time and refrigerate it, bake it at 350 degrees for an hour.
If you freeze the lasagna for a later time, bake it at 350 degrees, FROZEN, for about an hour and 30 minutes, until it’s bubbling around the edges.

Roasted Vegetable lasagna

Ingredients

    For Marinara Sauce:
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes (don’t drain, use the juice)
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
  • For Roasted Vegetables:
  • 3 zucchini, cut into small chunks
  • 2 eggplants, sliced, then chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • For Roasted Vegetable Lasagna:
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (store bought or homemade)
  • 3 cups ricotta (store bought or homemade)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb lasagna noodles (whatever kind you like)
  • 10 oz bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of all moisture

Instructions

For Marinara Sauce:

In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add chopped onion. Saute for a few minutes until onion starts to become translucent. Add the garlic and sautee for another 30 seconds.

Add the red wine, then the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Stir, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low and let simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.

Add sauce to a blender and blend for about 1 minute.

Pour sauce back into the saucepan and add the dried oregano and fresh basil.

Sauce is ready to serve or save for later.

*Store in the fridge up to 1 week or freeze for a few months.

For Roasted Vegetables:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the vegetables with oil, salt and pepper.

Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on 2 lightly greased baking sheets. Turn the vegetables once about half way through. Bake until they’re tender, lightly browned about 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and set aside.

*Roasted veggies can be stored in the fridge for a few days prior to using them for the lasagna.

For Roasted Vegetable Lasagna:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, egg, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmesan, minced garlic, salt and pepper.

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non stick spray.

Pour 1/2 cup of marinara sauce onto the bottom of the dish (just a thin layer).

Cover the marinara with a layer of lasagna noodles (I used no boil noodles, but you can use noodles that require you to pre-boil, just boil them according to the package instructions).

Top the noodles with 1/2 of the thawed spinach, 1/2 of the roasted vegetables, 1/2 of the ricotta, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, and 3/4 cup marinara sauce.

Repeat layering: noodles, remaining spinach, remaining roasted vegetables, remaining ricotta, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, 3/4 cup marinara sauce.

Final layer: noodles, 1 cup marinara, remaining mozzarella, 1/2 cup grated parmesan

Bake until the lasagna for about 1 hour, until it’s bubbling along the edges and golden brown.

Let to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Cut into 12 large pieces.

http://www.fatgirltrappedinaskinnybody.com/2012/04/roasted-vegetable-lasagna/