This heart-healthy lasagna is delicious and packed with lots of goodness from the garden. I used organic whole wheat pasta, which I felt held up better with the vegetables, plus brought a nutty flavor and lots of fiber to the dish. Adding potatoes also increases the carbohydrate content of this lasagna, plus it is oozing with cheese (as any good lasagna should!), so this is not the best dish for weight loss. However, if you are looking for a meatless, filling, and flavorful midweek supper, this should satisfy your craving. Also, the recipe freezes well, which will allow you to enjoy summertime treats, like the heirloom tomato topping and in-season zucchini, anytime of year. I was able to construct this whole dish with 3 medium-sized stainless steel bowls, one small glass bowl, one large pot, a cutting board and a baking dish, so your dishwasher shouldn’t be overflowing afterwards either.
12 strips whole wheat lasagna (I used Westbrae Natural Vegetarian, which has thinner strips, about 2.5 inches wide – this recipe uses about half of the box)
9 oz. bag spinach
2 small zucchini, sliced into ½ inch pieces, then quartered
1 large red onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried red pepper
15 oz. container of part skim ricotta cheese
12 oz. package of low-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
¼ cup skim milk
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon dried sage
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 very large heirloom tomato, cut into pencil-thick slices
5 medium-sized potatoes (I used purple ones for their color, but any will do), sliced very thin, approximately 1/16 of an inch
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
First, use olive oil to grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, set aside. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Boil 4 quarts of water with a few dashes of salt, then cook lasagna noodles to al dente – for me, this was approximately 6 minutes. Set out three stainless steel bowls – you will be using them to hold the three of the layers: the cheese mixture, the potatoes, and the tomatoes. Once pasta is done cooking (I usually use this time to shred/chop the other items), drain but don’t rinse, then lay out lasagna noodles in a single layer on waxed paper, somewhere out of the way.
Using that same pot (rinsed and dried), pour a little olive oil to coat the bottom, bring the burner to medium-high heat and dump the bag of spinach in. Allow to wilt slightly, then add the zucchini, chopped onion, garlic and red pepper, plus salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for approximately 10 minutes, or until spinach is wilted and zucchini is soft. Let cool in the pot.
Meanwhile, in a stainless steel bowl, make the cheese mixture. Start with two eggs, lightly whisked, and then add the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and nutmeg. Stir to blend.
Next comes the herb mixture – using the small glass bowl, combine the sage, oregano, basil and salt. Toss the potatoes with a bit of olive oil and approximately 2/3 of the herb mixture in a stainless steel bowl. Save the rest of the herbs for later.
So, to recap, at this point you should have a greased baking dish, several strips of cooked lasagna sitting on waxed paper, spinach mixture in a pot, a small glass bowl with some dried herb mixture, a cutting board with shredded parmesan on top, one stainless steel bowl filled with the cheese mixture, one filled with herbed potatoes, and one filled with slices of heirloom tomato. Now it’s time to assemble them all into one scrumptious lasagna.
Start by placing half of the potatoes in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Follow by laying strips of lasagna on top, also in a single layer (I lay three lengthwise, then shorten one strip by a couple of inches, and lay that widthwise at the end). Spread half of the spinach mixture on top of the strips, as evenly as possible. Follow with half of the cheese mixture. Top that with the other half of the potatoes, then another layer of lasagna noodles, then the remaining spinach mixture, then the remaining cheese mixture, then the remaining lasagna noodles. At this point, I spread the slices of heirloom tomatoes evenly on the very top, sprinkle with the remainder of the herb mixture, and top with generous sprinkles of parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, covered, in the 375-degree oven. Then remove cover and bake for an additional 15. Let stand for at least 5 minutes, and serve!