Herb-Infused Recipes from a Chef: Harvest Lasagna

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Makes 6 to 8 generous servings

To make this lasagna stand up on its plate and look beautiful, use the fresh tomato sauce sparingly when you put the lasagna together. Serve more sauce on top of the finished dish or pass it separately at the table.

Fresh Egg Pasta or 8 ounces dry lasagna noodles
• 1 medium sweet onion, diced
• 1 sweet bell pepper, diced
• 3 leeks, julienned (white part only)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 4 medium zucchinis, sliced 1/8 inch thick
Fresh Tomato and Herb Sauce
• 15 ounces ricotta cheese
• 1 large egg, slightly beaten
• 6 ounces grated provolone cheese
• 4 ounces freshly grated asiago or parmesan cheese
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
• 1/2 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper, or to taste
• Fresh herbs for garnish

1. Cook the noodles al dente; drain and plunge them into ice water to cool, then drain again.

2. In a saucepan, sauté the onion, bell pepper, and leeks in the olive oil for 3 minutes, stirring. Add the garlic and zucchini; sauté 5 minutes longer, or until vegetables are limp. Turn off heat. Add half of the Fresh Tomato and Herb Sauce. (Reserve the other half to serve with the finished lasagna.)

3. In a bowl, mix the ricotta, egg, parsley, and all but 1 ounce each of the provolone and asiago. Stir in the salt and pepper. Set aside.

4. Cut the cooked noodles to fit a 9-by-13-by-3-inch pan. Ladle a bit of sauce into the bottom of the pan, then add layers in the following order: noodles, vegetables, cheese, noodles, vegetables, cheese, noodles. Sprinkle with reserved cheese. Bake, covered, at 400°F for 35 minutes. Remove cover and bake 15 minutes longer. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving or, better yet, let stand overnight and reheat the next day. Serve with reserved tomato sauce on the side or poured over the top. Garnish with fresh herbs.

5. At the end of a day, the gardening gloves come off, the shovel’s at rest, the hose is coiled, and the gardeners are home cooking dinner.

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