This vegetarian lasagna is made of roasted red pepper, artichoke, spinach, ricotta and homemade tomato sauce with basil. It’s an easy recipe and an absolute winner if you have people coming over for dinner!
Lasagna is one of our favorite meals to prepare when we have friends coming over for dinner. It feeds about 4-6 people and it’s easy to prepare in advance. This way you’ll be able to drink a glass of wine and chat with your guests while this delicious lasagna is cooking in the oven. Honestly either you’re with 4 or 6 people, this lasagna will be completely finished and your plates will be licked clean, that’s how good it is!
How to roast red peppers
Our suggestion is to start roasting the peppers way in advance. It’s an easy task that can be done in different ways. If you like a smokey flavor you could roast them on the BBQ, this will just take a bit more time because you need to install your BBQ. Another option is to roast the peppers in the oven, but this way you’ll have less of a smokey grill taste. The easiest way and the way we did it is by using a grilling pan. First cut the pepper in length into 6 pieces. Mix up 1 tbsp of olive oil with pepper and sea salt. Grease both sides of the peppers with the olive oil with use of a brush. Heath up the grilling pan on the stove and once hot, add the peppers. Make sure they grill well and get those black spots on both sides. Be careful not to completely burn them, you can lower the heath a bit once you flip them. Grill until soft and beautifully grilled.
Creamy spinach & artichoke mixture
In this lasagna the béchamel sauce is replaced by a creamy spinach, artichoke and ricotta mixture spiced up with red onion. This creamy mixture makes the lasagna very fresh and firm compared to lasagna with béchamel sauce. Also this mixture can be made in advance. First pulse half of the ricotta cheese in a food processor until smooth and set aside. Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil and add the artichoke. Bit by bit add a handful of spinach while you keep stirring. Cook until all the spinach has wilted. Add the artichoke spinach mixture to the smooth ricotta and top with the rest of the ricotta. Mix all well together and season with pepper and salt.
Homemade tomato sauce
Every pasta is always better with homemade tomato sauce and this is one of the most easiest things to prepare. We always prefer to use canned tomatoes because it’s as good as fresh tomatoes, but it contains less water and it’s quicker. The advice is not to cut on the price, but to choose a good Italian brand. This you can really taste. It’s more concentrated, has less water and more flavors. Usually we use the canned tomatoes from Mutti. They’re known for the best most authentic Italian tomato products.
Now all there’s left is to assemble the lasagna in a baking pan and let your oven do the rest. Serve with a green salad tossed with olive oil, vinegar and lemon!
Vegetarian Lasagna with Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke
- Philips HR7629 Food Processor
For the roasted red peppers
- 1 big red bell pepper Cut in the length into 6 pieces
- 1 tbsp olive oil mixed with pepper and salt
For the tomato sauce
- 2 cans of cut tomatoes preferably a good Italian brand like Mutti
- 1 tbsp tomato paste/ pulp
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 onion
- pepper and salt
- 1 tsp cayenne/ chili powder
- ⅓ cup basil teared in small pieces with the hands
For artichoke, spinach and ricotta filling
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 chopped red onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 cup jarred artichoke
- 350 gram baby spinach
- pepper and salt
- 10-12 lasagna sheets
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- garnish with basil
Roasted Red Pepper
- Cut the red pepper through the length in 6 pieces. Grease the peppers with the olive oil with pepper and salt with the use of a brush.
- There is a few ways to grill peppers, on the BBQ, in the oven or in a grill pan. We choose a grill pan cause it's the quickest way. Heath up a grill pan on the stove and wait till it's hot. Add the peppers on the grill and let it grill for a few minutes on high heath. Flip them to grill on both sides, you can lower the heath a little bit. Let it grill until soft. Set aside on a plate.
The tomato sauce
- Chop the onion and fry it in 1 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan. Add the pressed garlic and let it fry for about 1-2 minutes. Add the chili/cayenne powder and mix. Let all the spices and flavors infuse with each other. Open the tomato cans and first let out some excess juices (otherwise the sauce can get too watery). Pour the tomatoes into the sauce pan and add 1 tbsp of tomato pulp. Mix it all well and bring to a boil. Add the basil leaves and transfer to a kitchen aid. Pulse a few times to make a smooth sauce. Transfer into a bowl and set aside. Rinse the bowl of the kitchen aid, you will use it for the artichoke and spinach mixture.
Spinach, artichoke and ricotta mixture
- Pour half of the ricotta cheese in the kitchen aid bowl and blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl, set aside
- Heath up 2 tbsp olive oil a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped red onion and salt. Fry the onion while stirring often, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the artichoke to the skillet, then add a few large handfuls of spinach. Cook, stirring and tossing frequently, until the spinach has wilted. Repeat with remaining spinach until all the spinach has dramatically reduced in volume and very little moisture remains in the bottom of the pan. Season with pepper and salt.
- Transfer the spinach and artichoke to the bowl of the kitchen aid and pulse until both finely chopped (but not puréed). Transfer the mixture to the bowl of whipped ricotta cheese. Top with remaining ricotta cheese and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Now it’s time to assemble the lasagna!
Assembling the lasagna
- Preheat the oven for 220 °C. Spread one layer of tomato sauce evenly over the bottom of a square baker (we used 32 by 19 cm). Layer three lasagna sheets on top, if necessary break some in two to fit the whole bakes. Spread half of the spinach mixture evenly over the noodles. Top 3 roasted peppers and cover with tomato sauce, then sprinkle with shredded cheese on top. Add a second layer the same way. Add a third layer with only the artichoke spinach mixture, tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella.
- Cover the lasagna with aluminium foil and transfer in the pre-heated oven. Cook for 18 minutes. Take off the aluminium foil and rotate the baker by 180 degrees and continue cooking for about 12 more minutes.
- Remove from oven and let the lasagna cool for 10 minutes before sprinkling with chopped basil and slicing. Serve with a simple green salad with a lemon and olive oil dressing!