Vegetarian Lasagna with Whole Wheat Noodles and Roasted Vegetables

I've been experimenting with homemade pasta recipes that use whole wheat flour and don't require a pasta maker or roller attachment for your Kitchenaid Mixer.  All you need is a food processor and a rolling pin.

Homemade lasagna noodles are easy because you don't have to cut them into fancy shapes.  You just roll out the pasta to the size of your dish, place the pasta in the dish, and cut the edges off with a pizza cutter.  You also don't need to pre-boil these noodles before layering them in your lasagna pan.

Lasagna is a great place to start making your own pasta.  It's also a really inexpensive way to feed up to 8 people a delicious and comforting homemade meal.  Here's an easy and healthy vegetarian recipe to get you rolling.

Vegetarian Lasagna with Whole Wheat Noodles and Roasted Vegetables (Makes 6-8 servings)
1 25 oz. jar marinara sauce (I use Trader Joe's Organic Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce)
Lasagna Noodles: 
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large organic eggs
Cheese Layer:
4 oz. fresh spinach
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 cups fat-free cottage cheese, or low-fat ricotta cheese* (I used one container)
1 large organic egg or egg white
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
10-15 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Vegetable Layer: 
1 sweet bell pepper (I used an orange pepper), cut into strips
1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
Topping: 2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

*I had always used ricotta in lasagnas before because it's more traditional, but cottage cheese is about half the price of ricotta cheese and has less fat and calories.  Using ricotta will thicken the cheese layer, which is certainly not a bad thing.

Making Lasagna Noodles:
You can do this ahead of time and keep the dough in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.  The dough needs to rest before being rolled out, so it's actually better to do this in advance and then just assemble the lasagna before you want to bake it.
1. Put the flour and salt in the bowl of your food processor and pulse to combine.
2. Add the eggs and pulse a few times to combine.
3.  Slowly add just enough water through the feed tube while the food processor is running so that the pasta dough comes together.
4.  Transfer the dough from the bowl of the food processor to a floured board and knead a few times to form a ball of pasta dough.  Place the ball of pasta dough in a covered bowl and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least a half an hour.
Assembling the Lasagna:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a lasagna pan (a 9 x 13 pan or baking dish will work) with cooking spray.  Prepare a half sheet pan with parchment paper.

1.  Place the chopped vegetables on the half sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.  
Roast the vegetables for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees until the vegetables are tender and slightly charred.
Allow the vegetables to cool slightly before adding them to the lasagna layers. (You can also do this step ahead of time and keep the roasted vegetables in the refrigerator until you're ready to assemble the lasagna).
Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees.  
2. Prepare the cottage cheese mixture.  Add the spinach and garlic to the blender and pulse a few times to chop.
Add the cottage cheese (or ricotta), egg, salt, and pepper to the bowl of the food processor and pulse to combine the mixture.  You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl to get everything incorporated.
(If you want to make this ahead of time when you're making the pasta noodles, just keep the mixture covered in the refrigerator until you're ready to assemble the lasagna).
3. Cut the pizza dough into 3 equal pieces.  Roll each piece out on a floured board until it is about 1/4-inch thick and approximately the same size as your lasagna dish.  Set the noodles aside.
6. Assemble the lasagna as follows:
Spread 1/4 of the sauce on the bottom of the lasagna pan to start.

Create 2 layers of the following: 
Layer one lasagna noodle in the pan.
Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture over the noodle.
Break up half of the mozzarella slices and spread the pieces over the cheese mixture.
Layer half of the basil leaves and half of the roasted vegetables.
Spread 1/4 of the tomato sauce on the top.
Layer the last noodle on top, use a pizza cutter to trim any edges, and spread the remaining 1/4 of sauce and Parmesan cheese on top.
7. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the pasta is cooked through.  Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.  Cut into 6-8 pieces - 8 pieces was just about right when served with a green salad on the side.  

Here are the nutrition facts for one slice of lasagna (like the one above), assuming you get 8 total servings. 

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 305 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
Saturated Fat 
Total Carbohydrates 
Dietary Fiber 
Vitamin A 41%Vitamin C 54%
Calcium 29%Iron 20%

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