Fresh Spring Vegetable Lasagna
This delicious recipe makes the most of early spring vegetables that you can easily pick up at the Farmers Market by this time of year! It combines fresh, vibrant spring-time vegetables with comforting and fulfilling lasagna for the perfect family dinner inspiration. If you regularly shop at a farmers market, you will notice that most of these ingredients will be among the earliest fresh local produce to hit the shelves, so make the most of those fresh flavors and local growing season.
Lasagna isn’t an exact science, so you can choose as many, or as few, veggies from this list as you want. I love a bit of variety, and use about four of these each time I make lasagna, but I chop and change depending on what looks good when I go shopping. The one constant is that I always add sweet potato or some type of squash to bulk up the layers. This isn’t necessarily required, but I have found that it works for me.
You Will Need
Large oven safe lasagna dish (at least 12” x 9”)
Large frying pan for making the sauce
1 large onion diced
2 large carrots diced
1 leek sliced into thin rounds
2 sprigs of rosemary plucked off the stem
2 sprigs of thyme plucked off the stem
4 cloves of garlic diced or crushed
6 basil leaves torn into small pieces
2 sweet potatoes (or 1 small butternut squash) roasted and diced
2 zucchinis diced (can substitute mushrooms or bell pepper if you prefer)
10 stalks of asparagus cut into 2 inch pieces (can substitute beans if you prefer)
Medium can of diced tomatoes
Small can of tomato paste
4 spring onions diced
Cheese sauce (a simple recipe is linked here)
2 cups of chopped kale (can be frozen or fresh)
2 cups of grated cheese (loosely packed)
Oven ready lasagne sheets
Salt and pepper
How To Make
- Preheat oven to 420F or 220C.
- Begin making the sauce by adding a splash of olive oil to the pan along with the diced onion, leek and carrots. Once the onion is soft and transparent, add the zucchinis, garlic, thyme, rosemary, basil, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and asparagus. Let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the zucchini and asparagus are soft.
- If the sauce dries out, add some water so that it has a similar consistency to a jar of pasta sauce, although bear in mind that it will be much chunkier.
- Mix the ricotta cheese and kale together in a bowl and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Begin layering the lasagna by putting a very thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the lasagna dish. Add a layer of pasta on top of this, then about one-thirds of the remaining sauce, then another pasta layer.
- Add a layer of the diced sweet potato, then a layer of the kale and ricotta cheese mixture. Us about half of both of these ingredients.
- Next comes another layer of pasta, with another one-third of the sauce on top.
- Put down a layer of pasta, then add the second half of the sweet potato and the kale and ricotta cheese mixture.
- Top that with another pasta layer, then the remaining one-third of the sauce. Sprinkle the shredded cheese and spring onion directly on top of the final sauce layer.
- To see if you have enough liquid in the dish, look through the side, and make sure you can see pooling liquid going at least one third of the way up the side of the dish. A bit more is fine too - I find that up to one half will be enough to cook the pasta sheets, but will not make the lasagna too watery.
- I generally make my lasagna quite ‘pasta heavy’ – this ends up with five layers of pasta, but you could skip some of the layers of pasta if you want more sauce and less pasta. If you only have three pasta sheets, then you don't need as much water - just half an inch or so in the bottom will be enough.