Recipe from http://www.thehealthychef.com
Evenings in Perth are getting chilly, and what better way to warm up than with a hearty, pasta dish!
This lasagne is easy to make and meat free, with alternating layers of complementary, contrasting flavours: smashed tomato sauce, lemon and herb scented zucchini, cinnamon roasted sweet potato and creamy ricotta and parmesan-laced béchamel. I love to serve with extra smashed tomato sauce and a generous grating of Parmesan as well as a leafy side salad with lemon olive oil dressing.
What’s great about it:
Technically a fruit, tomatoes are loved around the world for their versatility, rich red colour and flavour. Tomatoes are a wonderful source of vitamin B6, C, K, beta-carotene, potassium and manganese. The lycopene (phytonutrient) in tomatoes has been linked to lower rates of heart disease and cancer. Zucchini’s are a good source of B group vitamins, which are essential for energy metabolism. The vitamin C, beta-carotene and phytonutrients, give zucchini’s their antioxidant properties. Capsicums are available in a range of vibrant colours, which all contain the natural painkiller capsaicin, clinically proven to be useful against arthritic pain. Capsicums are an awesome source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, B6, E and potassium. Sweet potatoes are a healthy low GI carb source that’s high in beta-carotene the precursor to vitamin A important for eye health. It’s also rich in potassium which is necessary for muscle contraction, nerve transmission, normal blood pressure and to help regulate fluid balance in the body, making them a great recovery food after exercise. Sweet potatoes are also loaded with glutathione, an antioxidant that helps to nourish our immune system and protect against disease.
Makes 1 large baking Dish
Serves 8 – 10
1 kg zucchini
1 kg eggplant (3 – 4)
1 kg sweet potato
4 red capsicum
¼ cup pesto
1 quantity smashed tomato sauce
100 g baby spinach leaves
500 g good quality ricotta cheese, firm deli style or your choice of white sauce
30 g Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Slice zucchini into ribbons on a mandoline then place on a single layer onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Roast for 10 minutes or until the zucchini has lightly softened then remove and set aside.
Slice eggplant lengthways 5 mm thickness.
Place onto a baking tray in a single layer and lightly brush with olive oil.
Season with a little sea salt and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden and soft. Remove and set aside.
Thinly slice sweet potato with the skin lengthways on a mandoline as thin as possible to form delicate orange wafers.
Lay onto a baking tray and lightly brush with olive oil.
Sprinkle very lightly with a little cinnamon and sea salt and roast for 30 minutes or until softened and delicious. Remove and set aside.
Half the capsicum and remove the inner core.
Lay skin side up on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until softened and golden.
Remove capsicum from the tray and place into a bowl then cover with a tea towel – this processs will allow the skin to be removed easily.
After 30 minutes, remove the skin from the capsicum and set aside.
To Assemble Lasagne
Spoon 1 cup of the smashed tomato sauce over the base of the baking dish.
Lay over 1/3 of the roasted sweet potato over the base.
Top with ½ the zucchini and spread over 2 tablespoons of pesto followed by a few handfuls of baby spinach.
Lay over eggplant and spread over one cup of smashed tomato sauce.
Lay over all the roasted peeled, capsicum.
Repeat with another layer of sweet potato, zucchini, pesto, spinach, eggplant and tomato.
Finish off with the last layer of sweet potato.
Blend the ricotta until smooth – Add ¼ cup of water if needed to form a smooth creamy white sauce.
Spread over the top of the lasagne and lightly sprinkle with Parmesan.
Bake For 40 – 45 minutes in a preheated 180 C oven or until golden and hot.
Serve with a leafy green salad and more smashed tomato sau