VEGETARIAN CAULIFLOWER LASAGNA
VEGETARIAN CAULIFLOWER LASAGNA
Cauliflower is the star in this healthy lasagna, appearing in two roles-once when it’s blended into the ricotta cheese filling for texture, and a second time when it’s roasted and used in place of the traditional meatballs or sausage…
Ingredients [ For 7 to 8 people ] [ Preparation time : 22 minute – Cooking time : 35 minutes ]
- 8 cups cauliflower florets (from 1 head cauliflower; about 2 1/2 lbs)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for coating the lasagna noodles
- Kosher salt
- 1 (28-oz) can no-salt-added whole plum tomatoes
- 5 cloves garlic, 4 sliced and 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 425ºF.
- Toss the cauliflower in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Spread the florets in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast, tossing once, until tender and golden brown in spots, 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 1/2 cups water and add it to the bowl of tomatoes.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil with 4 cloves sliced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small Dutch oven over medium heat until the garlic begins to sizzle and becomes aromatic about 2 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate, about 30 seconds.
- Add the crushed tomatoes with their juice and 4 large leaves of basil.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 40 minutes.
- You should have about 3 3/4 cups of sauce.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the lasagna noodles one at a time into the pot.
- Cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain the noodles in a colander.
- Add 1 to 2 teaspoons 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 1/2 cups of the roasted cauliflower and 1 chopped clove garlic 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.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
- Assemble the lasagna: Spread a thin layer of sauce (around 1/4 cup) on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
- Lay 4 of the noodles on the bottom, without overlapping, cutting 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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