This is a light, flavorful lasagna that will leave you satisfied without that uncomfortable heavy feeling that often accompanies more traditional lasagna recipes (usually heavy on meat and/or high-fat cheeses). The mushrooms give it an earthy, hearty flavor.
Paired with a small mixed-greens salad, it makes a satisfying meal no matter what time of day or year you choose to make it.
12 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 cup vegetable broth
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried oregano
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 medium zucchini, cut in ¼-inch-thick round slices
1 medium yellow squash, cut in ¼-inch-thick round slices
1 each red and orange bell peppers, cut in 1-inch dice
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, cut in ¼-inch-thick slices (about 4 slices per mushroom)
16 oz. jar favorite spaghetti sauce or a comparable amount of homemade sauce
3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet (the kind with a rim around the edge) with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together ½ cup of the vegetable broth, the red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the tomato paste, ½ tablespoon of the oregano, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and the cracked black pepper. Add the sliced zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, and mushrooms to the mixture, stirring gently to coat. Spread the vegetables out on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Do not rinse out the mixing bowl, you will use it again.
Roast the vegetables for 15-20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and using a spatula, turn the vegetables over and spread out again. Roast the vegetables for another 15-20 minutes. You may have to stir them up a third time and go for another 15-20 minutes; use your best judgment. The vegetables should be softened and slightly blackened around the edges when they are done roasting.
While the vegetables are roasting, bring a large stockpot of water to a boil, add the lasagna noodles, and cook until al dente. Drain the lasagna noodles into a colander or mesh strainer. Rinse out and refill the kettle with cold water, adding ice cubes if necessary. Transfer the lasagna noodles back into the pot of cold water and set aside. This will keep them from sticking together when it is time to layer the lasagna.
Remove the vegetables from the oven and reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 X 13 x 2 inch baking dish or pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In the aforementioned mixing bowl, pour in the spaghetti sauce and add the remaining ½ cup of vegetable broth, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 1½ teaspoons of oregano, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine.
Drain the lasagna noodles from the cold water bath into a colander or mesh strainer.
Spread ¼ cup of the sauce around the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Layer the ingredients in the following order: Bottom layer – 4 lasagna noodles, ½ of the vegetable mixture, 1/3 of the sauce, 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Middle layer – Repeat the bottom layer. Top layer – 4 lasagna noodles, remaining 1/3 of the sauce, remaining 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese.
Bake the lasagna for 30 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before slicing.
Yield: 8 servings
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