Veggie Lasagna

Recipe submitted by Laurence R. Smith, II, Director of Marketing, HPV Franchise, Merck & Co., Inc.


Veggie Lasagna

Italians close their businesses for several hours each afternoon to enjoy a long, leisurely lunch, and then work late into the night. In the States, we take about 30 minutes for our lunch. Enjoy the best of both worlds: make this lasagna a day ahead and pack a serving to microwave for lunch.

Ingredients

  • 12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half and each half sliced
  • 1 cup of celery, thinly sliced (or fennel), fresh)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced diagonally
  • 1 1/2 cups of spinach leaves, fresh
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms, fresh
  • 1 15-ounce container, part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 cups of marinara sauce, jarred or homemade

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook noodles until slightly chewy, about 8 minutes.
  • Drain and carefully drape noodles over side of colander.
  • While pasta boils, sauté carrots, onion, celery and bell pepper in skillet with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, stirring frequently.
  • When veggies are fork tender, add zucchini, spinach and mushrooms. Sauté until spinach wilts and all veggies are tender.
  • In a small bowl, combine ricotta, egg, 1/4 cup Parmesan, basil and parsley.
  • Spray casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Spoon about 1/2 cup sauce into bottom of casserole dish. Reserve 1/4 cup mozzarella.
  • Arrange four noodles overlapping in casserole dish, top with about 1/3 the vegetable mixture, 1/3 the ricotta mixture, 1 cup sauce, 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1 tablespoon Parmesan.
  • Repeat, layering two more times, ending with sauce.
  • Sprinkle top with remaining mozzarella, and bake 35–40 minutes until top is crusty.

This recipe makes 8 servings.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving)

  • 351 calories
  • 18 grams protein
  • 45 grams carbohydrates
  • 11 grams fat (5 grams saturated fat)