Rush Hour

I love lasagna! Of course, with a name like Halpin, I might be just a little biased! But, I bet I'm not alone. Admit it, lasagna is one of your favorites too. There's only one major drawback to it: the time and effort it takes to make it. There's boiling the noodles, trying to layer them in the pan without tearing them, and you inevitably end up with too much or not enough.

Well, this month's quick weekday fix is a vegetable lasagna that takes 45 minutes to put together. That's right: 45 minutes. The key to this recipe is the use of no-boil lasagna noodles. There are a few brands available on most grocery store shelves and, if I have my way, they'll continue to be available. No more boiling, draining, and tearing lasagna noodles. Measuring them out is a snap: use 3 noodles for each layer of a 9" x 13" baking dish. And, when you pull out your finished product from the oven, you'll be hooked. Great lasagna with half of the work!

The recipe I've included this month is a vegetable-based lasagna. The traditional meat and tomato sauce version also works great with no-boil noodles. If you really want to use traditional lasagna noodles, leave it for the weekend. No-boil noodles are a real savior when Wednesday rolls around!

Vegetable Lasagna

  • 1/2 c. pesto
  • 1/3 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. green beans, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 c. zucchini, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 c. green peppers, chopped
  • 4 rip tomatoes, cut 1/4" thick
  • 9 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 6 T. nonfat ricotta cheese
  • Italian seasoning to taste
  • 1 c. shredded cheese

In a large bowl, mix pesto and cream until blended. Add beans, zucchini, and peppers. Toss to coat.

In a 9" x 13" baking pan, create layers as follows:

  1. tomatoes
  2. 3 lasagna noodles
  3. pesto-veggie mixture
  4. ricotta cheese
  5. 3 lasagna noodles
  6. tomatoes
  7. pesto-veggie mixture
  8. 3 lasagna noodles
  9. shredded cheese

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce first layer. Serve hot with warm Italian bread and a garden salad.

  • Yields: 1 - 9" X 13" pan
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes