Root Vegetable Skillet Baked Lasagna

I’m kicking off my Veggie Week Challenge today with this delicious Root Vegetable Skillet-Baked Lasagna recipe. This dish is incredibly rich, flavorful, and hearty — oh-so-hearty! You’ll be just as satisfied as if you’d had braised short ribs! Really!

Have you ever noticed when you cook something in the oven, the bits that stick to bottom and edges of the pan taste the best?  It’s true — trust me!

Well, why not bake your whole lasagna in the same pan where you’ve caramelized the onion and garlic, browned the veggies, and deglazed with wine and tomatoes?  Keep all those wonderful flavors together – it’s amazing!

Cooking this made for an absolutely delightful weekend afternoon!  We had it for a casual dinner with friends last night — along with Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies and a yummy salad.  Comfort food, all the way around!

If you’d like to participate in my Veggie Week Challenge — and I hope you do :-) — try to eat at least one meal each day that has no meat whatsoever.   And tell me about it!  As an added bonus for respondents from Southern California, you could win a $200 Veggie Grill gift card!  (Veggie Grill locations are currently in Los Angeles and Irvine, California.)

Recipe
Serves 10 to 12
Total Prep and Cooking Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Active Work Time: about 45 minutes

Olive oil for the pan
1 cup finely chopped brown onion
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups peeled and chopped carrots (into 1/2-inch pieces)
2 cups peeled and chopped parsnips (into 1/2-inch pieces)
2 cups peeled and chopped turnips (into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped (here’s how)
4 cups crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
3-3/4 (2-pounds) cups part skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg
7 finely chopped scallions
About 15 cooked lasagna noodles
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Coat the bottom of a 12-inch oven safe skillet with olive oil.  (Cast iron is best.) Place the pan over medium-high heat and add the onion and garlic.  Cook until the onion is soft and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.  Then add the thyme and cook until it’s very aromatic, about 30 seconds.  Season this mixture to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the carrots, parsnips, and turnips and turn the heat up a bit.  If necessary, add a little more olive oil and sauté, stirring every couple of minutes, until the vegetables are nicely browned.  Now, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with foil, and let the vegetables steam until they’re tender, about 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the foil, turn the heat to high, add spices, roasted peppers, tomatoes and wine,  and mix to combine.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer.  Let this simmer for about 10 minutes and then turn off the heat.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the ricotta with the eggs and scallions and season generously with salt and pepper.

To assemble the lasanga:  Remove all but a thin layer of the sauce in the pan, spooning it into a bowl as you go.  Add about 5 lasagna noodles on top of the thin sauce layer.  Cut some of the noodles if necessary to fill in any crevices  and empty spaces.  Then add about half of the removed sauce back into the pan and spread it evenly on top of the noodles.  Top this with about one third of the ricotta mixture and one third of the mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Repeat this process once and top with a third layer of 5 lasagna noodles, followed by the remaining ricotta, mozzarella and all of the Parmesan.

Place the pan in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes.  The lasagna should be bubbling along the edges and the top should be beginning to brown.  If you’d like the top a bit more brown, place it under the broiler for about 30 seconds.  Let the lasagna sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Timeline:
Up to 3 days and at least 2 hours ahead of time: Make the sauce.
Up to 3 days and at least 1 hour ahead of time: Bake the lasagna.
This lasanga only gets better and better. You can bake the entire thing 3 days ahead of time!  Reheat it in a 375 degree F oven, covered, until it’s hot all the way through, about 30 minutes.

Print recipe.

Notes:

You’re Gluten-free?  Easy!  Whole Foods sells a couple of brands of gluten-free lasagna noodles!

Don’t have a 12-inch oven safe skillet?  No biggie!  After the sauce is made, simply layer everything as directed above into a 9 X 13 X 2-inch baking dish.

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