Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Eve Dinner: Vegetable Lasagna

We were talking about Christmas Eve dinner at my mother-in-law's after dinner on Thanksgiving and she mentioned she was going to switch things up and make a ham on Christmas Eve. Since I don't eat meat that day, I offered to make a vegetable lasagna. I don't know what I was thinking because when Christmas Eve rolled around, I was so stressed and tired after preparing for the big day. I threw this together and flung it into the oven with no time to spare. It was done the minute we had to be out the door and on our way to church. I had no time for error or even to think about if this would be good or not. Not to fear, this came out perfectly—cheesy, saucy, and full of veggies. It was delicious. Everyone loved it. I was worried about the veggies getting too soft while baking, but they remained nice and crisp. This is a great alternative to a meat lasagna.

Vegetable Lasagna
Box of no-boil lasagna noodles (I used Barilla brand.)
2 jars favorite sauce or homemade (I used jarred with mushrooms in it.)
16 oz. ricotta cheese
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
2 - 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
salt, pepper, parsley

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Lightly spray 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick spray.
3. Thinly slice zucchini and chop the rest of the vegetables into bite-size pieces.
4. Combine ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, 1 egg, and parsley. Mix well and set aside.
5. Combine pumpkin puree, 1 egg, salt, and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
6. Assemble lasagna: Ladle sauce onto bottom of baking pan. Place 3 lasagna noodles on bottom of pan. Top with 1/2 ricotta mixture and some sauce. Place 3 more noodles on top of ricotta layer. Top with 1/4 of the zucchini, the rest of the vegetables, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, and more sauce. Place 3 more noodles on top of veggie layer. Spread pumpkin mixture on top of noodles, and top with the remaining zucchini slices and more sauce. Place 3 more noodles on top of pumpkin layer. Spread the rest of the ricotta cheese mixture and top with sauce and remaining 3 noodles. Spread sauce and the rest of the mozzarella cheese on top of noodles.
7. Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes.
8. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.

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