Vegetable Lasagna

I love cooking. The house smells amazing.

Reminds me when I was a kid and your mom and grandmother cooked sauce all day.

This doesn’t take all day but looks and smells the entire house like it did.


20 lasagna noodles

3 tablespoons olive oil 

2 shallots, roughly chopped 

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 

2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and chopped 

8 cups packed fresh spinach

3 cups fresh ricotta cheese 

2 cups finely grated Parmesan

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 

1 egg 

6 cups shredded mozzarella

3 1/2 cups Chunky Marinara Sauce, recipe follows

Chunky Marinara Sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 medium carrots, cut to 1/2-inch dice

1 stalk celery, cut to 1/2-inch dice

1 large yellow onion, cut to 1/2-inch dice

3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped 

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano 

Pinch chile flakes, optional

One 28-ounce can tomato sauce puree 

One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, hand crushed or coarsely chopped, juice reserved 

8 to 10 fresh basil leaves 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the lasagna noodles for 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the noodles and drizzle them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and then set the noodles aside for later use. (If you are using no-boil noodles, skip this step.)

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat and cook the shallots until softened and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and zucchini, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, 2 to 4 minutes.

In a large bowl, stir to combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, pepper and egg, and set aside for a later use.

To assemble the lasagna, spoon 1/2 cup of the Chunky Marinara Sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with 3 noodles, slightly overlapping. Spread one-third of the ricotta mixture over the noodles, then add one-third of the cooked zucchini and spinach, evenly distributing over the ricotta. Top with 2 cups of the mozzarella, then top with 1 cup of the sauce. Repeat the layering two more times, ending with a layer of noodles and a sprinkle of mozzarella.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

Remove the foil and continue to bake until bubbling and cooked through, 10 to 20 minutes more. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Chunky Marinara Sauce:

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat and add the carrots, celery and onions, and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the oregano, chile flakes, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, basil leaves and some salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.


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