Wow, it’s already Thursday night, what a fast week! Ok, brace yourself for this lasagna. It is worth all the preparation, I promise! I cut into the pan a little soon, so you can’t see all the pretty pasta layers, but let me tell you this lasagna is a keeper. Veggis were flying all over my kitchen as I was putting it all together. I’m not one to toot my own horn, but it really couldn’t have turned out any better. I have been in hog heaven having the leftovers and know I’ll be making it often.

The best part is, I presented it to the boys in their little bowls, all cut up, with their spoons ready and they dug right in. I told them it was lasagna and it tasted like spaghetti and meatballs. They loved it! Chock-full of garden fresh veggis and heavenly layers of ricotta and mascarpone cheese…..Enjoy!

Read the funny things my little guy said about his day at school at the end of this post, it’ll make you smile!




Garden Vegetable Lasagna with Ricotta Mascarpone Layers

Homemade Pasta Sauce

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 Cup finely diced white onion
4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced
28 oz can Muir Glen Whole Peeled Plum Tomatoes, put in food processor and pulsed until nearly smooth
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
6 oz can tomato paste
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

1. Heat oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion for 5 minutes, stirring often then stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, tomato paste and basil leaves. Reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to use.

Vegetable filling

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium yellow squash, sliced
1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
½ Cup thinly sliced fennel
2 Cups broccoli florets
2 Cups diced eggplant
4 Cups fresh baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Pinches of salt

1. Heat oil into a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Saute all ingredients for 10-12 minutes, season with a couple pinches of salt, stirring often or until softened to your liking. Cook longer for softer texture. Reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to use.

Ricotta Mascarpone Layers

1 ½ pounds part skim ricotta cheese (about 1 ½ big containers)
1 Cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
½ Cup soft mascarpone cheese
2 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic salt

1. Place all ingredients into a large bowl; stir until well combined.

9 oz oven ready lasagna noodles, try the whole wheat, it was great
2 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese

To Assemble:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat bottom of a large 9×13 inch baking dish with a couple ladles of homemade sauce. Next, layer with lasagna noodles. Spoon 1/3 Ricotta Mascarpone mixture over noodles, spreading slightly (I used my fingers). Top evenly with 1/3 vegetables. Repeat this process 2 more times or until all ingredients are used up. The top layer should be lasagna noodles. Pour remaining sauce over noodles then sprinkle with 2 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake covered for 45-50 minutes, then remove foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.

2. Let sit in pan for 15 minutes before cutting into it. Serve and enjoy!

8 servings

_______________________

“Mom, you are not going to believe this….. There are 3 girls in my class that LOVE me!” And today at lunch, this boy took my hamburger and threw it right on the ground, and he was smiling about it! And Mom, you better close your ears for this next part…..I picked it up off the ground and ate it!”

I am loving the Kindergarten drama already! This is the end of week 2 and I get earfuls everyday from my cutie. After he told me about the girls who love him, I opened up his backpack and found 3 love notes. My favorite was a picture of a girl wearing a crown and a boy, holding hands with both of their names written on it, then on a separate note was their wedding cake. I love this! I will be saving these notes forever, totally priceless! Oh, and we had a nice conversation about sticking up for yourself at school too. I hope I don’t get a call from the principal!

Have a great rest of the week and try some yummy Lasagna!