I heart my veggies, but I also heart pasta. And cheese sauce. And cheese. And since I had zucchinis and eggplant in the fridge, four-layer veggie lasagna was born!
This dish is a cheesy, saucy way to get your vegetables while still managing to eat pasta for dinner. Or lunch. Or both! There’s a bit of olive tapenade in one of the layers, and that gives the dish a hint of piquancy, while still being super-creamy. I ate a piece right after I took it out of the oven, and despite it being 11 pm as I type this, I’m tempted to have another slice because it’s so creamy and just plain yummy!
If you want to eat delicious, creamy, cheesy lasagna, while still knowing that you’re eating lots of veggies too, try this recipe!
Four-Layer Vegetable Lasagna
- 3 zucchinis
- 1 eggplant
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 1 c. grated cheese (mozzarella is ideal)
- 1/2 c. olive oil
Parmesan White Sauce
- 1/2 c. butter
- 4 tbsp. flour
- 1/2 c. cream
- 3 1/2 c. milk
- 1/2 c. parmesan cheese (grated is best, shelf-stable is a-ok too)
Olive & Ricotta Filling
- 1/2 c. ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp. olive tapenade
Prepare the vegetables first: Slice the eggplant, sprinkle with salt, and place on a plate for half an hour to draw the bitter juices out. When they’re wet with the juices, rinse them off and mix them with half the olive oil. Slice the zucchini and mix with the remaining olive oil. Place on cookie sheets and bake in a 400 degree oven until golden on the bottom. Flip them over and bake until golden on the top.
Prepare the Parmesan White Sauce: Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in the flour and let cook over a medium heat. When the flour/butter mixture has bubbled for several minutes, whisk in the cream, followed by the milk. It will seem a bit watery, but keep cooking it, and it will thicken up nicely. When it’s the thickness that you like, stir in the parmesan cheese, and set the sauce aside.
Boil the pasta until ready, and grate the cheese.
Prepare the Olive and Ricotta Filling: Mix together the ricotta with the egg, and stir in the olive tapenade.
Put it all together: Spread out 1/2 c. of the parmesan white sauce in a lasagna pan, and cover with three of the lasagna noodles. Place a layer of the zucchini over the noodles, and follow that with another layer of white sauce. Top with a layer of noodles. Spread the ricotta and olive filling over those noodles, and cover with another layer of noodles. Layer the eggplant overtop, and top with some more white sauce. Place the final layer of noodles on top, spread the remaining white sauce over that, and top with the grated cheese. Bake in a 400 degree oven, until the cheese is golden brown on top and the sauce is bubbling, about half an hour. Cool slightly, plate, and devour!
I think the tastiness of this dish is due to a couple of things. One is the addition of the cream to the parmesan white sauce; it really makes the dish much more creamy, even though not a large amount of cream is used. As well, the olive tapenade ups the savoury factor. You can leave it out if you don’t like olives, but you don’t really taste olives — it just adds a bit of flavour. And, oven-roasting the vegetables just makes the dish more flavourful overall. Oh, I can’t explain it, it’s just a super-yummy dish. You’ll have to make it yourself — you’ll see!
Next Post: Blogging for Books…about food. And books about what goes into the food that you put in your mouth!