Lasagna has been in our hearts as the cheesiest comfort food, not just because of its amazing taste, but also for all the love that goes into making it. You may not know this, but technically, Lasagna did not originate in Italy as you may expect. Its origin can be traced way back to Ancient Greece. The name Lasagna, or “Lasagne” is derived from the Greek word ‘Laganon’; the first known form of pasta.
Makes 7-8 servings
- 8 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more to coat lasagna noodles
- Kosher salt
- 1 (28 – oz) can of no-salt-added plum tomatoes
- 5 garlic cloves, 4 sliced & 1 chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 8 oz whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 10 noodles)
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves chopped
Preheat the oven to 425°F/ 220°C.
Toss the cauliflower in a bowl with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and ½ tbsp salt.
Spread the florets in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast, tossing once, until tender and golden brown in sports, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool slightly.
Put the tomatoes in a medium bowl and use your hands to crush them. Rinse the can with 1 ½ cups water and add it to the bowl of tomatoes.
Heat the remaining tbsp of oil with the 4 sliced garlic cloves and ½ tbsp salt in a small hob over medium heat until the garlic begins to sizzle and becomes aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper and stir until soft, about 8 minutes. Then add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Lastly, add the crushed tomatoes with their juice and 4 large leaves of basil, chopped.
Bring to boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stir occasionally until the sauce is thickened, about 40 minutes. *You should have about 3 ¾ cups of sauce.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the lasagna noodles one at a time to the pot. Cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain the noodles in a colander.
Add 1 -2 tsp oil to the noodles, tossing to coat to prevent them from sticking, and drape over the side of a large bowl.
Combine the ricotta, egg, 1 ½ cups of the roasted cauliflower and 1 chopped garlic clove in a food processor and pulse until evenly pureed.
Tear the remaining basil into small pieces, add to the food processor and pulse 3 to 4 more times to chop the basil finely, but not puree. Then transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
Assemble the lasagna:
Spread a thin layer of sauce (around ¼ cup) on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Lay 4 of the noodles on the bottom, without overlapping, cut to fit, if necessary.
Spread with half of the cauliflower-ricotta mixture, followed by half of the roasted cauliflower, one-third of the tomato sauce, one-third of the mozzarella and one-third of the Parmesan. Loosely fit 3 more noodles on top of the cheese without overlapping.
Spread with the remaining cauliflower-ricotta mixture, followed by the remaining roasted cauliflower, one-third more of the tomato sauce, one-third more of the mozzarella and one-third more of the Parmesan.
Top with the remaining 4 lasagna noodles, cutting just to fit. Then add the remaining tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake until bubbly and hot, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook until the cheese begins to brown, about 10 minutes more.
Allow to rest for 10 minutes so the lasagna will cut more easily. Garnish with the parsley.
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