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Roasted Vegetable Pesto Lasagna

Filled with savory roasted vegetables, this lasagna is a one dish meal that feels wonderfully luxurious

Vegetable lasagna is a dream to eat, but tricky to make because the vegetables can get a bit soggy. To solve the problem, roast your veggies ahead. Instead of the usual tomato-based pasta sauce for lasagna, this one is made with pesto which boosts both flavor and nutrition. We even share an easy pesto recipe below, so you can make your own. When making pesto, we recommend that you add the olive oil very slowly while the food processor is running, as this helps emulsify the pesto and keeps the olive oil from separating. Note that basil pesto darkens when exposed to air. To let it stay greener longer, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or store in a plastic or bottle container. For a lower-fat version of this veggie lasagna, feel free to substitute ricotta cheese with cottage cheese. 



Roasted Vegetable Pesto Lasagna | Ricky Ladia


Roasted Vegetable Pesto Lasagna

Serves 4 to 6 


250 grams lasagna noodles, cooked, drained

2 eggplants, thinly sliced diagonally

2 red bell peppers, cut into strips

3 zucchini, thinly sliced diagonally

olive oil, for drizzling

kosher salt, to taste

ground black pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cups béchamel sauce (recipe below)

2 cups ricotta cheese

1 1/2 cups basil pesto (recipe below)

1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

chopped fresh basil, for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.


2. Drizzle eggplants, bell peppers and zucchini with olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Roast vegetables in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside.


3. To assemble the lasagna, brush a baking dish with oil. Spread béchamel sauce (recipe below) at the bottom of the dish, then top with a layer of lasagna sheets. Top with roasted vegetables, then layer with ricotta cheese, followed by basil pesto (recipe below). 


4. Repeat the layering twice more with lasagna noodles, béchamel, vegetables, ricotta and pesto. Finish the final layer of lasagna with the remaining béchamel, then top with mozzarella. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.


5. Garnish with fresh chopped basil. Serve hot. 


BECHAMEL SAUCE

(Makes about 2 cups):


1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste


1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, and add butter. 


2. Add flour and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. 


3. Gradually add milk, constantly whisking until smooth. Bring to a boil and continue to cook, whisking for 5 minutes or until thick. 


4. Remove from heat, stir in Parmesan cheese and season to taste. Set aside. 


BASIL PESTO

(Makes about 1 1/2 cups):


4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed 

1/2 cup pine nuts 

6 cloves garlic

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste


1. Place basil leaves and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse several times.


2. Add garlic and Parmesan cheese and pulse several times more. Scrape down sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.


3. Slowly add olive oil in a small, steady stream while food processor is running. Stop occasionally to scrape down sides of the food processor.


4. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and cover.



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Photography by Ricky Ladia