This dish is probably my hubby’s most favorite dish that I make and yet I’ve only made it maybe 3 times! I’ll be completely honest and tell you that it takes time and love but oh is it sooo worth it. It’s healthy, fresh, full of flavor and worth every minute spent making it!
I orginally found this recipe in one of my cook-books, but I’ve tweaked it each time to make it my own and if I must say so myself, the 3rd time was definitely a charm because this one was my best! Served at my pap’s 81st birthday, there was only 2 pieces left in the tray; a hit!
3 Eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/4 in slices
3 Zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/8 in slices
2 Large Red Bell Pepper, quartered and seeded
15oz. Ricotta Cheese
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup grated Asiago Cheese
1/4 cup fresh minced Basil
1/4 cup minced fresh Parsley
9 Lasagna Noodles
2, 26oz. tomato-basil pasta sauce (homemade or jarred)
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup pesto (homemade or jarred)- PS. You can find my homemade pesto recipe here!
Coat eggplant & zucchini with cooking spray. Sprinkle with s&p. Grill for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Put everything in large bowl and set aside.
Place peppers on grill, skin-side down, grill 3 minutes. Cut into 1-in. wide strips. Add peppers to bowl with other veggies.
In separate bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, asiago cheese, basil, parsley, garlic powder, s&p.
Preheat oven 375
PUTTING THE LASAGNA TOGETHER
Spread 1/2-3/4 cup sauce in a 13×9 baking dish coated with PAM. Arrange 3 noodles over sauce.
Top with 1/2 of the eggplant, zucchini and peppers.
Spread 1/2 ricotta cheese mixture.
Sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella and a little Romano cheese over top.
Arrange 3 noodles and 1 cup of sauce on top.
Cover and layer with remaining veggies.
Top with remaining ricotta mixture.
Spread jar of pesto over ricotta; sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella and a little more romano cheese.
Cover with 3 noodles.
Spoon 1 cup sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with more mozz and asiago cheese.
Sprinkle Italian Seasoning on top, fresh basil, a pinch of S&P.
Cover with foil and Bake at 375 for 1 hour.
Let stand 15 minutes.
Use other jar of sauce or ‘extra’ homemade sauce to ladle over top when serving.
*drum roll please*
Is worth the cutting.
The putting together.
Pap loved my lasagna and I am honored to have had the opportunity to cook it for him!
For his birthday, all he wanted and asked for was a gas card (gift certificate to the local BP Station). So instead of the gas card, we got him a VISA gift card (because we didn’t have a BP anywhere near us) and we told him that he can spend the money anywhere on anything… Even the BP Station.
Poor thing was so confused.
“You mean, I can buy my medicine too?” he shouted in his big Italian voice.
“And GAS.”…*pause*… “Gas too?” he said.
“Yes Pap. Anything. Gas, Medicine, Clothes.”
“I DON’T NEED CLOTHES!” he said in his big Italian voice.
“Well, anything. Anything you want. Anywhere.”
“And what do I do? What do I say?” holding and flapping the gift card in his left hand up in the air.
“Just give the card to the cashier Pap. She’ll take care of it.”
“It’s like…?” said Pap.
“Treat it just like cash.” Anthony (my brother) said.
“It’s just like a credit card!” said Nuni (my grandma)
“I DON’T HAVE CREDIT CARDS!” shouted Pap.
I love this man.
PS. Sometimes the whole taking a picture thing confuses him too… you know, look and smile and wait until the person clicks… This is the best one of him and I and 2 of our 3 boys ; )
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PAP.