This veggie-packed lasagna is a fun twist on a typical vegetarian lasagna, while still being familiar enough to qualify as comfort food. Fresh pasta is layered with roasted vegetables, tomato sauce, and fresh herbs, and then topped off with mozzarella and Parmesan. I particularly liked the addition of so many fresh herbs - the mint in particular added a really unique flavor that paired perfectly with the roasted veggies. The lasagna is also fairly spicy thanks to the dried chile flakes - I was actually pretty surprised how far the small amount of chile flakes went (or perhaps we simply had a particularly spicy batch). In any case, if you aren't a fan of spicy, you should leave these out; personally, I loved it!
You'll definitely want to set aside an evening when you have a bit of time to make this recipe, as it has lots of different steps. But, I think it's well worth the time investment, and the leftovers do keep very well in the fridge, like most baked pasta dishes. I recommend using a food processor to do most of the chopping if you have one. It can be used to slice the eggplant, zucchini, pepper, and onion, and also to grate the cheese. Although this is still a fairly involved recipe, this step will at least cut down on the prep time a bit.
One other thing to note about this recipe - the original recipe claimed this was a "lighter" version of lasagna and that a pan would serve only 4 people, but we definitely did not find that to be the case. Although there is less cheese than your typical lasagna, the final dish seemed pretty much just as hearty to me as the normal vegetarian lasagna that I make (although maybe my normal lasagna is lighter than most); we also got at least six servings out of the pan.
Ratatouille Lasagna (adapted from Serious Eats)
7 T olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp dried chile flakes
1 tsp herbes de Provence
1 pound eggplant, sliced into 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch rounds
3/4 pound zucchini, sliced into 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch rounds
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 large red onion, thinly sliced
12 cloves garlic, in their jackets
Salt and pepper
28-ounce jar marinara sauce
3 sheets fresh pasta (or enough smaller sheets to make 3 layers of pasta in your baking dish)
6 sundried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped
1/4 cup water
15 leaves fresh basil
10 leaves fresh mint
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
8 ounces whole milk mozzarella cheese, grated
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line two half sheet pans with foil.
2. In a large bowl, toss together 6 T olive oil with the chili flakes and herbes de Provence. Add the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and garlic and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the vegetables between the two baking sheets, in a single layer as much as possible. Roast until softened and beginning to brown, 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Peel the garlic and mash slightly with a fork.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
4. Assemble the lasagna in a 9x13 baking dish. Spread half a cup of marinara sauce in the bottom, and then top with a layer of fresh pasta (trimming as necessary). Top with another 1/2 cup sauce. Top with half the vegetables in an even layer.
5. Add another layer of pasta and top with another 1/2 cup of sauce. Top with the chopped sun dried tomatoes, the remaining vegetables, and about a third of the shredded cheese.
6. Top with the final layer of pasta, followed by the remaining marinara sauce. Add the water to the marinara jar, shake, and pour over the lasagna. Gently press everything down to ensure that all the pasta is coated in liquid.
7. Top the lasagna with a layer of fresh herbs, followed by the mozzarella and the Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
8. Bake 30 minutes, and then remove the foil from the lasagna. Turn the oven up to 450 degrees. Bake another 5 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.