Vegetarian Lasagna with Noodles and Pesto


One of my first exposures to cheese and tomatoes, besides in a sandwich, was the Vegetarian Lasagna, a scrumptous, rich dish with a thick gravy and cheese flavored heavily with Italian herbs and layered with veggies and noodles. This was such a lovely way to enjoy the noodles that I instantly became a fan. So this thanksgiving, I thought I'd share with you this vegetarian main course that you and your guests would absolutely enjoy! Plus, it's so easy to tweak the basic recipe to add your choice of vegetables or meat and turn this into one of your favorites! Spiced with oregano, basil, thyme and parsely, this dish is a classic combination of noodles and veggies accentuated by the tomato sauce and cheese, and the mushrooms with Pesto take it to another level! Surely fit for a festive occasion, this Vegetarian Lasagna will definitely bring an appealing taste to your palette!

Ingredients
4 long lasagna noodles
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tspn dried oregano
1 tspn dried basil
1 tspn dried parsley
1 tspn dried thyme leaves
4 cloves garlic - minced
2 cans low-sodium tomato sauce
2 portobello mushrooms - sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 cups spinach - blanched leaves
15-20 circular eggplant slices (optional)
1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Pesto Sauce (ingredients and recipe described below)

Method

Pesto Sauce: Take 2 cups of fresh basil leaves. Add them to a mixer, add some salt, black pepper powder, fresh garlic cloves(3-4 buds) and a tiny splash of lemon juice(optional). Also add 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese. Now keep adding a tbsp of pure olive oil slowly while blending the mixture. When its half crushed, add some pine nuts to it, and blend again to form a thick yet spreadable pesto paste. keep adding EVOO as required.

Lasagna
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles according to package directions, then drain and keep aside.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 4 cloves crushed garlic and saute until fragrant. Add dried oregano, basil, and parsley and stir. Add the tomato puree and salt and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and dried thyme. Place eggplant slices and the mushrooms on a sheet pan and brush with olive oil mixture. Bake until soft, about 5-8 minutes.

Line the bottom of a casserole dish with 2 cooked noodle sheets. Then arrange baked eggplant and mushroom slices. Add the blanched spinach leaves. Add a thick layer of the Pesto Sauce. Top with half of the tomato sauce and then spread the ricotta cheese over. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella. Repeat the same layering again in that order and sprinkle all the remaining cheese on the top. Bake until the cheese is melted and brown, about 30-35 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into chunks and serving.

This Lasagna serves as a delicious main course for your parties and needs little preparation. Hope this recipe serves to delight many of you who are planning a Vegetarian Thanksgiving this season. For an appetizer soup, try the Roasted Pumpkin and Onion Bisque, and end your meal with the delicious Traditional Pecan Pie


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25 comments :

Lisa said...

Brilliant! I've alwasy looked for an authentic italian lasagna recipe and here it is!! I will surely make it for thanksgiving mansi as everyone in our family loves italian food!!

thanks so much for this great recipe...I love it more because unlike the ones which have only tomatoes and layers of cheese, yours has a nice twist with the noodles and veggies!

-Lisa

Asha said...

No Turkey Thanksgiving for you huh? This is great substitution of course. I am shopping today and will start cooking on Wednesday. We all have long weekend ahead!:)

Mansi Desai said...

hey Asha - I couldn't find a veggie turkey, else would ahve made it:D lookign forward to your spread!

Lisa - thanks for visiting my blog, and I hope this lasagna makes your thanksgiving memorable!

-Mansi

Kribha said...

Gourmet presentation as usual. Are you sending this for the 'click' event?

Mansi Desai said...

Kribha - I thought I missed the Click deadline! but thanks for informing me that i still have time!!:) yup, I think i will:)

Mala Venkatesh said...

Hi Mansi,

Wonderful recipe. Am definitely going to try it.

Quick question though, what is EVOO ? Didnt understand that. Sorry..

Thanks !

Mala

Sylvia said...

Wonderful lasagna Mansi,and, your blog is looking so good in this new template and header photo

Mansi Desai said...

Mala - My Bad! EVOO is Extra virgin Olive Oil..sorry, I'm updating the post with the full name:) it's just olive oil that you get in stores! do try it and tell me how it goes!

Sylvia - thanks so much! I'm glad you like the new look. I'm happy when my readers are happy:)

Rina said...

Not a fan of Lasagna. Yours looks gr8. Are you sending this to click for Noodles?

musical said...

Lasagna is a perfect choice for a great Thanksgiving meal! Lovely choice, Mansi. This one is looking very yummy!

Sharon said...

Mansi, this sure looks like a great dish; I would probably add spinach to it as I love it!:)

-Sharon

Laavanya said...

What an enticing picture that is Mansi... Lovely.

Shweta said...

Lovely! I think I am going to try out this recipe very soon! Thanks Mansi :) The picture is awesome!

Siri said...

Awesome Lasagna.. seems like u are on a full Thanksgiving mood ..:)

Reg ur comment on Dal Dhokadi:

Oh dear, see we both have a telepathy. I am curious to know ur version of Dal Dhokadi too..:).. ya, I read in an article that its a fav gujju recipe..:)

Anonymous said...

hey! when you host a X'mas party, please do invite me, because i think it'll be even better than this thanksgiving one, right?!

-sareen

sagari said...

lasagna lookss deleciousss

Nags said...

when do we get to see ur lovely pics in a bigger resolution?

Lissie said...

delicious lasagna with all those spices...yummy! nice dish for Thanksgiving :))

Sandeepa(Bong Mom's CookBook/DesiMomzClub) said...

Ahhhhhhh lovely prep..you could have sent it to CLICK

AnuSriram said...

Wow.... veggie lasagna, the one i love and never get this veggie one in most of the restaurants. Will try this soon....

Pratima kansara said...

This is really a keeper
awesome I substituted mushrooms with some florets
of cauliflower and brocolli
my hubby does not like mushrooms Thanks Mansi great receipe

Pratima

Mansi Desai said...

Thanks Pratima, glad you guys enjoyed it! that's what makes my blogging experience a fulfilling one:)

Jeena said...

Spinach and Ricotta cheese is so tasty with pasta. Mansi your lasagna looks fabulous I love all the ingredients I bet it was so delicious. Greta post. :)

Cynthia said...

What a vegetarian delight!

Hiral said...

Hey Mansi,
Amazing coincidence I should tell you about. Just the other day was talking to my cousin in Detroit when she mentioned she made Lasagna. I was like hey I haven't tried so I went searching for the recipe on the net and boy it was such a disappointment.Then I remembered that I had browsed your blog earlier and was hoping to find it here. And there it was indeed! You made my day. Will let you how it turned out:-) Thanks buddy. Keep it up!