Ratatouille Lasagna (version II)

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2 onions, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium zucchini, cut in 1/2-inch, cubes
2 medium yellow squash, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
2 green bell peppers, cut in 1/2-inch, cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, cut in 1/2-inch, cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut in 1/2-inch, cubes
1 medium eggplant, cut in 1/2-inch, cubes
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
12 lasagna noodles, parboiled in salted, water and drained
1 pound fresh mozzarella, grated

How to Prepare the Ratatouille:

1. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.

2. In a large sauté‚ pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil until almost smoking and sauté‚ the zucchini in batches until browned on all sides (adding more olive oil if needed). Remove the zucchini and place in the pot with the onions and garlic up

3. Continue sautéing the remaining vegetables (adding 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil each time) the same way and adding them to the large pot.

4. Once all the vegetables have been sautéed and added to the large pot, season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and thyme and cover the pot. Cook over medium heat for 25-30 minutes.

5. During the 5 five minutes of cooking, add the chopped tomatoes and parsley. If the ratatouille is too thick, thin with a little water; if it is too liquid, remove the lid and allow the liquid to reduce.

How to Prepare the Lasagna:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine the ricotta, 3 tablespoons parmesan, salt, pepper and basil in a medium bowl.

2. Place 1/2 cup of the ratatouille in the bottom of a 11 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Place 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan, overlapping them slightly.

3. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles and top with 3/4 cup of the ratatouille, sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the grated mozzarella.

4. Repeat this three times, then place the last 3 lasagna noodles on top.

5. Place 1 to 1 1/2 cup of the ratatouille on top of the noodles and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.

6. Bake 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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