Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Make-Ahead Roasted Zucchini and Eggplant Lasagna

Whether you are looking for a recipe for a "Meatless Monday" or just want a healthier lasagna dish that is different from all the others, this is the perfect one to try.  You may also make this with all zucchini if you don't wish to use eggplant.  I like this recipe because you can make it the day before.  

1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes, do not drain
1 1/2 lbs zucchini, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 lbs eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
5 TBS extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 - 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 - 3 TBS chopped fresh basil
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups)
3 oz Parmesan cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups) **Use the real stuff...not the cheese in the green can!

To Finish and Serve:

4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1 oz Parmesan cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)

To Prepare:

Refrigerate the diced tomatoes.  Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss zucchini and eggplant with 3 TBS oil two-thirds of garlic, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.  Spread vegetables over two greased rimmed baking sheets and roast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 25-35 minutes.  Make sure you scrape the bits of garlic off the bottom of the pan so they do not burn and get stuck to the pan.  You wouldn't want to lose their tasty goodness!

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 TBS oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat until shimmering.  Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in remaining garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  Stir in crushed tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook until the flavors blend, about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat.  To cool, stir in chilled diced tomatoes and let sit until cooled to room temperature, about 30 minutes.  (You should have 7 cups sauce.  Add water as needed to reach 7 cups.)  Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Measure out 2 cups of the sauce to a storage container to be used later.  Place in the refrigerator. 

Spread 1 cup sauce evenly over bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Arrange 3 noodles in single layer on top of the sauce.  It's alright if the noodles don't fit perfectly in the pan.  I broke some of the noodles into pieces in order to fill in some of the gaps.  Sprinkle one-quarter of the vegetables evenly over the noodles, then spread 1 cup sauce evenly over the vegetables.  Sprinkle 2/3 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan evenly over sauce.  Repeat layering noodles, vegetables, sauce and cheeses two more times.  For the final layer, arrange 3 remaining noodles on top, sprinkle with remaining vegetables and cover with the final 1 cup of sauce. 

To Store:

Wrap dish tightly with Saran Wrap and refrigerate lasagna and remaining sauce separately for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.

To Finish and Serve:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.  Unwrap baking dish, spread reserved sauce evenly over top of lasagna and cover dish tightly with greased aluminum foil.  Bake until sauce is bubbling around the edges and lasagna is hot throughout, about 45 minutes.  Remove foil, sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan and continue to bake, uncovered, until cheese begins to brown, about 10 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

Serve with a salad and lightly toasted Italian bread drizzled with olive oil. 

Serves 8 - 10

Source:  America's Test Kitchen

Janice

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