Lasagna Estate: Classic Pasta Dish Featuring Summer Vegetables (Recipe)

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Estate is how you say "summer" in Italian.

(We love Italian inspired food, in case you haven't already noticed.)

This classic pasta dish has been dubbed Lasagna Estate because it features a delicious medley of summer vegetables, making it light on the palate but still filling. It's also vegetarian! 

Lasagna is an easy favorite at our house, because it's easy to make it vegetarian friendly and it guarantees leftovers that I'll actually look forward to eating. Because everybody knows the test of a truly delectable pasta dish are leftovers that taste even better the next day once the sauce and flavors have had a chance to settle!

This was the first time I used Classico's Organic Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce. (See Disclaimer Below). I had no expectations because I'm not that familiar with any of their other sauces. I really liked that it was 24 ounces because I like to be liberal with my sauce. No one likes a dry lasagna dish. 

So the verdict? Classico's sauce is a keeper! The sauce was light and fresh; it kept the dish light, which is the point when using organic summer veggies. And best of all, it reheated nicely. Some sauces dry out when you reheat it in lasagna, this sauce did not! It also did not have any added sugar, which is nice. 

You don't need super processed sauce for a savory pasta dish. This lasagna is bursting in flavor thanks to all the seasoning.  

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. lasagne pasta noodles (I used brown rice noodles)

24 oz. Tomato & Basil Classico Organic Pasta Sauce

1 Organic Yellow Squash

1 Organic Zucchini

1 Organic Green Pepper

Baby Bella Mushrooms 

1/2 a large Organic Red Onion 

Arugala

2 Eggs

4 oz. Sour Cream

1 cup Mozzarella Cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

Salt, to taste or (1/2 teaspoon)

Black Pepper, to taste (or 1/2 teaspoon)

Italian Seasoning, to taste (or 1/2 teaspoon)

Paprika, to taste (or 1/2 teaspoon)

Garlic Powder, to taste (or 1/2 teaspoon)

Onion Powder, to taste (or 1/2 teaspoon)

STEPS

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pour some of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. 

2. Cook pasta according to directions on the package.

3. While pasta is cooking chop up the vegetables for the lasagna filling—zucchini, yellow squash, green pepper,  red onion, and mushrooms X—and combine in a large bowl. Season with salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning.

4. Make the binder/cheese filling by mixing two eggs with 4 oz. of sour cream, 3/4 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan. Season cheese filling mixture with salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. 

5. Start layering the ingredients in the baking dish: lasagna noodles, pasta sauce, cheese filling, arugala, vegetable mix (and repeat). (9x13 baking dish usually allows for two layers). 

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6. Cover the final layer with lasagna noodles. The pour the rest of the pasta sauce on top of the noodles. And top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

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7. Cover the lasagna with foil paper then bake in the oven with the foil cover for 18 minutes. After 18 minutes remove the foil covering and bake for another 42 minutes, until cheese on top has started to brown. 

8. When the lasagna is done baking, remove from the oven and let it cool for 15-20 minutes then -

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ENJOY! 

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NOTES

  • If you end up with more chopped veggies than can fit in your lasagna, make this quick roasted vegetable medley
  • We do not like ricotta cheese, usually I just use an egg and mozzarella cheese mix for the binder. But I really enjoyed the added dimension of creaminess that came from using the seasoned sour cream. Plain greek yogurt is also a great substitute and it adds even more additional protein. 
  • Usually I use spinach in vegetable lasagna, but lately I can't get enough of Arugula. Feel free to use your favorite greens. 

It's still summer until the first week of consistently cooler weather. But because it's comfort food, you can make this classic pasta dish all year long! Enjoy!! And if you make it, let me know how you like it. 

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Disclosure: Classico sent me their new Organic Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce to review. All opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way as per my guidelines for this blog.