Susie's Holiday Lasagne with Roasted Vegetables and Pesto (Click here…long recipe)

Roasted Vegetables:

2 T olive oil

6 Medium zucchini (1-1/2 lbs.), cleaned and thinly sliced (I toss mine in olive oil and BBQ them instead)

2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and thinly sliced

1-1/4 lbs. medium mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

salt and pepper to taste

To roast the vegetables, preheat the oven to 450°. In a large roasting pan, combine the oil, zucchini (I toss the zucchini in olive oil and BBQ instead), peppers, leeks, and mushrooms and toss to coat all the ingredients.  Roast the vegetables until softened, about 45 to 50 minutes, turning occasionally to keep them from sticking. Note: if water accumulates in the pan during cooking, pour off the excess and continue to roast. Transfer the vegetables to a mixing bowl, cool and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss the vegetables with the pesto, taste for seasoning and set aside.


½ c. Pesto (recipe below or just use Pesto from a jar from the market)

Makes 1 to ½ cups

2 garlic cloves, peeled

2 c. firmly packed fresh basil leaves (about 2 medium bunches)

½ c. firmly packed parsley leaves

2 T. Pine nuts

½ c. olive oil

1/4 t. black pepper

3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese


With motor running, add the garlic cloves to food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until pureed. Add the basil and parsley and process until finely chopped. Add the pine nuts and finely chop.

With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil in a fine stream. Add the pepper.

Just before serving, add the cheese and process until well blended. Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate pesto in a tightly covered container until ready to use.


White Sauce:

3 T. unsalted butter

3 T. All-purpose flour

2 c. hot whole milk

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg

To prepare white sauce:

Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. -- Off the heat, whisk in the flour until blended. -- Return the pan to the heat and cook the flour for 2 minutes, whisking continuously, until it is bubbling but the mixture has not changed color. --  Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the hot milk, beating to prevent lumps from forming. -- Return to the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and whisk until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside.


Ricotta-Cheese Layer:

1-1/2 pounds ricotta cheese (buy the good stuff from an Italian market)

3 large eggs

1 c. freshly grated Parmesan

2 T. finely chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1 pound fresh or dried green or white lasagne noodles

3/4 pound thinly sliced Muenster cheese, sliced (buy the good stuff from the Italian market)

1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan

To prepare ricotta-cheese layer, combine ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl and mix well.


To prepare noodles, cook in a large pot of salted boiling water (10 minutes if dry, 3-4 minutes if fresh, until just al dente (don't overcook). Drain and place the pasta in a mixing bowl; cover with lukewarm water. When the noodles are tepid, lay them in a single layer on paper towels to dry. Blot the pasta dry and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375°. To assemble the lasagna in the bottom of 13 inch long ovenproof lasagna pan:

½ white sauce

1/3 lasagne noodles

½ roasted vegetables with pesto

½ ricotta cheese mixture

½ muenster

1/3 lasagne noodles

rest of white sauce

rest of roasted vegetables with pesto

rest of lasagne noodles

rest of ricotta cheese mixture

rest of muenster

sprinkling of Parmesan

With a serrated knife, cut the lasagne into equal squares, which will help you serve it after baking. Bake the lasagne for about 45 minutes or until piping hot and bubbling throughout. Cut into squares and serve immediately.