Spring Vegetable Lasagne with Lemon & Mint Ricotta Sauce

Happy Easter! Hope you are all having a nice day celebrating with friends and family. Did the Easter bunny stop by your place? The Easter bunny left me a chocolate bunny with crispy rice – my favourite! :)

Today I wanted to share a delicious, light lasagne that celebrates all of the best of spring vegetables. The lasagne has fresh local asparagus, leeks, fresh peas and edamame beans. I also added some zucchini for good measure. I adore zucchini and add it to everything. It’s such a versatile vegetable. The lasagne is kept together by a delicious minty, lemon ricotta sauce. Yum! The perfect flavours to celebrate spring.

The original recipe called for 1 and 1/2 cups of cream plus 2 cups of cottage cheese. I opted for 2 cups of low-fat ricotta cheese and used some left-over pasta water to create a nicely rich & creamy sauce. The sauce is still very flavourful, but a lot lighter and low in saturated fats.

Hope you all have a fabulous Easter. We are off for a nice long walk and then to my grandma’s house for Easter dinner. Grandma is making a new Italian dish for the vegetarians in the family and I cannot wait to try it! My mom made a carrot cake with fresh pineapple and cream cheese icing. Hmmm…maybe we should make it an extra-long walk before dinner. :)

Ingredients
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped (or 1 small leek washed and finely sliced)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 2 and 1/2 cups of shelled edamame beans
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 large bunch of fresh mint; roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups of low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 box of dried lasagna noodles (or you can use fresh lasagne sheets)
  • 1 organic vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese 

Method

1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Salt water well. Cook the lasagne noodles according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drizzle with olive oil and set aside. NOTE: make sure you keep about 3 cups of pasta water, as you will need it to prepare your sauce. Preheat oven to 375’F.

2. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and/or leeks and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onions are tender and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute. 

3. Meanwhile, trim the woody ends off the asparagus and discard. Then, thinly slice the asparagus spears and add to the pan. Add the edamame beans (frozen is fine) and peas. Add a splash of the boiling pasta water to avoid having any of the vegetables stick to the pan. Sauté until the asparagus is starting to feel a bit tender.

4. Scoop out 1/2 cup of boiling pasta water. Dissolve 1 organic vegetable bouillon cube into the water and add to the vegetables. Add the zucchini and reduce heat to a simmer.

5. Once the vegetables are all semi-tender, add another 1/2 cup of pasta water along with 1 tablespoon of butter. Note: the butter creates a nice rich and creamy sauce. Add the roughly chopped mint and the zest of one lemon. Mash the vegetable mixture with a spoon. Remove from heat. Note: save another 1/2 cup of pasta water for your lasagne topping.

6. Add all but 1/2 cup of the ricotta mixture to the vegetable mixture. Mix well. Spoon 1/4 of the vegetable mixture into a 13 x 9 baking pan. Top the vegetables with a layer of lasagne noodles and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Repeat this layering process until all of the vegetable mixture runs out. Your top layer should be a layer of noodles.

7. Slowly add the saved pasta water to the final 1/2 cup of ricotta. Note: You want to slowly add the water until you’ve got a nice, spreadable consistency. You may or may not use all 1/2 cup of water. Once you’ve achieved the desired consistency, spread over top the final layer of noodles. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

8. Bake in a 375’F oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the top is nicely golden brown. Allow the lasagne to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Source: loosely adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe

Comments

  1. says

    What a great recipe with tons of spring flavor – so fresh and inviting!

    Loving the addition of edamame to the dish -yum ;)

    …I think I have that same exact fork that I borrowed from my gram’s house and it never made it back :)

  2. says

    Edamame in a lasagna is unheard of and unbelievable! I love the fresh look of this lasagna, more so than the traditional one I believe! Did you miss the tomato taste at all?

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