I love lasagna, especially vegetarian lasagna with plenty of sauce and cheese. But I don’t make it that often because 1. That is way too much cheese in one dish and 2. It is time consuming. So I thought of a simpler, less fatty dish using lasagna noodles and ingredients that I usually have at home. So here’s what I did: I made pasta sauce with as many vegetables I could fit in and basically layered the pasta with the sauce, a bit of feta and a bit of parmesan and that was that. I put it in the oven and I had “lasagna”, a light dish that you can accompany with a salad for a complete meal and it not complicated to make.
This is not one of those extravagant cheesy 5-layer lasagna dishes that seem to be require a separate recipe for each layer. It is an easy and tasty lunch or dinner, with plenty of tomato sauce, a great choice especially for kids, since you incorporate all those vegetables. I used a bit of olive oil in the pasta sauce and moderate amount of cheese, and only a few sheets of lasagna making it a vegetable rich recipe with few calories at about 270 for a generous piece.
You can make your own recipe for pasta sauce, but the idea here is to get a lot of vegetables in the sauce. I used vegetables that I had that day in the fridge and I like red pepper because it gives a sweetness and makes the lasagna very “red”. I also cut the vegetables in teeny-tiny pieces. This idea came from a recipe I saw in the book The Art of Eating by M. F. K. Fisher, the American food writer. For her pasta sauce recipe she basically advised cutting the vegetables in tiny cubes, and it makes for a nice texture for pasta sauce.
Feta Cheese Vegetarian Lasagna
- 9 lasagna noodles I used the ones that do not require pre-boiling
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 red bell peppers finely chopped you can use green
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 carrots finely chopped
- 2-3 sticks celery finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 20 ounces chopped tomatoes you can used canned
- 2 tablespoons basil
- 2 tablespoon oregano
- 4 ounces crumbled feta
- 4 ounces grated parmesan
- Salt/pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius)
- Finely chop all the vegetables.
- Heat the oil in a large sauce pan and sauté all your vegetables at low heat for about 15 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté until you start smelling the garlic.
- Add the tomato sauce, oregano, basil, pepper and salt to taste.
- Simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
- In a medium baking dish/pan that is about 12 x 9 inches, spread 1-2 tablespoons of the sauce. Lay on the sauce 3 lasagna noodles, then pour over a generous amount of sauce and sprinkle over that the feta and parmesan. Lay another 3 lasagna noodles and repeat with sauce and cheese and on the final layer spread some more pasta sauce with a bit of parmesan if you want.
- Bake for about 20-30 minutes covered and 5-10 minutes uncovered (pasta should be soft-but don't let pasta dry out). Serve with some sauce poured on top.
Photo: Olive Tomato