Thursday, 18 December 2008

Roasted Veggie and Spinach Lasagna

I literally crave Italian food every now and then and making this lasagna really hits the spot on those days!

I made this roasted veggie and a spinach lasagna using fresh pasta sheets, I've been using the fresh pasta for a while now instead of the dried ones and boy, does it make a difference- for the better, of course!
Here is my recipe for this family favorite, I am also going to include a recipe for my pasta sauce.
I make my own pasta sauce because I love its flavor....I am so used to the homemade one, I cannot go back to the jarred or canned ones! Sit down with a cup of coffee to read ahead, its kind of lengthy - but worth it!

You will need:
~1 box- fresh pasta sheets (Lasagna Sheets, I used Olivieri brand)
~1 small packet - baby spinach, 1-2 bell peppers, 1 large red onion, 2-3 zucchinis and squash ( yellow or butternut squash works well) or use both!
2 carrots - all chopped, except the spinach, I added that as is.
~Tomato Sauce - as needed
~Bechamel Sauce - as needed
~Italian Cheese blend or you can use Mozzarella and Parmesan
~1 heaping tbsp - Italian seasoning blend, Salt to taste and Olive Oil

First, Make the sauce ahead of time: For the fresh TOMATO sauce, you will need:
  • 2- 35oz cans of whole plum tomatoes or 3-4 lbs fresh ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp- olive oil
  • 5-6 med cloves of garlic- sliced, 1 red onion - sliced, 1 small chili pepper - sliced
  • Few Fresh leaves of Basil, use some dried ones if you can't find fresh ones
  • Salt and a pinch of sugar
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
Heat the oil in a deep pan, and add the garlic, onions, chili and the red pepper flakes. Don't let the garlic brown too much.
Add in the tomatoes. If you are using canned tomatoes mash them up with the masher. Bring the sauce up to a simmer, let it cook for 10 minutes. Add the salt, black pepper and the sugar and then the Basil. Let it simmer until it reaches a thick consistency. Blend it towards the end to make it uniform.

Now get ready to grill the veggies:

Chop up all the veggies except the spinach - add a drizzle of Olive oil, some Italian seasoning if you have some on hand, or use some dried parsely and oregano flakes, mix well and layer on a cookie sheet. Heat your oven to 375F and let it cook until semi soft. Do NOT add salt to these veggies, they will turn mushy. Set aside.

While the veggies are baking, make the bechamel sauce, I usually follow this recipe and it turns out well.

Bechamel Sauce:
  • 6 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 ½ cups hot milk ( 2% is ok)
  • 2 tbsp- parmesan cheese
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg (about ¼ tsp)
To make the sauce, melt the butter with the olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and stir well, being careful. Then slowly add the hot milk while whisking vigorously. The mixture will seem to clump, but keep whisking and it will end up smooth. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Put it back on the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the Parmesan cheese at this point.

Now,on to the lasagna:

Spoon some sauce in a baking pan, and layer a sheet of the pasta, add the grilled veggies and some of the fresh baby spinach - as is. Add a little bit of the cheese and then add both Bechamel and some tomato sauce on top. Repeat for another two layers. On the top layer, add some more cheese, bechamel sauce, tomato sauce and some crushed pepper flakes if you like. Bake in a preheated oven (375F) for 30 minutes covered with foil, and then for 15 more minutes, uncovered.

Serve this delicious meal with a side of garlic bread and a salad.

Happy Holidays to all of you.


Kitchen Flavours said...

Wow really a comfort food. Herby and yummy recipe.

Alka said...

Thats a lovely recipe,i too like to make everything from do get on my nerves some times but when finally i m thru ,and i watch my family gulping down everything merrily,i feel every botheration and preparation was worth each millisecond of it :-)

sowmya said...

that looks delicious..never tried lasagna..looks tempting.. have to try it now..

Vanamala said...

Looks delicious...

Preety said...

hey i also make the lasagna same way ..i use all the leftover veggeis sitting in my refrigerator though to stuff in:)..

Purva Desai said...

Lasagna looks lip smacking, even I prefer to make my own sauces and try to give a kick in the pasta sauce by adding chilli flakes and coriander-cumin powder.....

Happy Holidays to you too...
Feel free to participate in Christmas Feast Event

Supriya Raman said...

Looks great, very cool recipe!

musical said...

Yup, fresh pasta does makes all the difference! This is such a lovely recipe: i can totally picture myself having this on a wintery evening (i'll move my lazy self for this one, i bet). Yummmmmmmmm!

Happy holidays to you too, dear!

Madhuram said...

That's definitely one comforting meal. I love the combination of the vegetables. Now I have to look what fresh pasta is and where it is available.

SriLekha said...

looks delicious!
join in the savories event going in my blog!

Pavani said...

Yum yum Lasagna.. sure it is a long process but it is definitely worth the effort. Thanks for the detailed recipe. I'm thinking of making lasagna for new year party.. I'm going to steal your recipe. Thanks again.

meeso said...

I love any dish full of spinach! Really looks and sounds delicious!

Gopi Shah said...

Hi, ur lasagna looks yummy!! Thanks for droping by on my blog.

nithya at hungry desi said...

this sounds delicious...i completely understand - often, i just crave an enormous bowl of pasta doused with sauce (as my husband has come to call it, a "big bowl pasta day"). can't wait to try this recipe out!

Keerthana said...

Hi Trupti, thanks for visiting my blog! u have a wonderful collection of recipes.good to know another foodie! i have added u to my blogroll:) happy holidays to u too!

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

That's a really beautiful recipe! the flavors sound gr8

Anonymous said...

Hi trupti,

Lovely recepie and photo too.
happy holiday to you and your family.

Cilantro said...

Hi Trupti,

I am an avid reader of your Blog.
This is the first time I am commenting in your blog.
Lovely photos and delicious recipe,trupti.
Warmest holiday wishes for you and your family.

PG said...

that's a lovely recipe. Pictures look so tempting too. Thank you for your wishes. Wish you a wonderful christnmas time too and Happy New Year!

Uj said...

Wow.. all made from scratch.. looks delicious.. Very nice and tempting pics too.. Happy Holidays

Creativecook said...

Looks amazing! Must try this, nothing beats homemade pasta sauce.
Warm wishes for the new year!

Kay said...

Wow, Trupti! That looks GREAT!! :) Happy holidays to you too!

Mandira said...

delicious and comforting.

happy new year to you and your family! Looking forward to many delicious posts in 2009

bee said...

dear trupti,
we wish you and your family a wonderful 2009.

bee and jai

Miri said...

That looks absolutely delicious! Yummy!!!
And I agree - fresh pasta tastes so much better especially in case of lasagna.


Purva Desai said...

Wishing You and Ur Family Happy and Prosperous New Year!!

Sig said...

Dear Trupti, happy New Year to you and yours!

notyet100 said...

first time t ur spce,..liked lotz,..will be bck soon

Preety said...

sounds & looks delicious

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