Roasted Cauliflower Lasagna is good

Despite being January, there has been essentially zero snow in Boston this year. By this time last year I had gone cross-country skiing at least 3 times. This year = zero. But tonight... it is snowing ... even if just for a few hours. Whenever it snows, you should almost always eat baked cheese and pasta. And wear leggings. And watch Friends on Netflix.

I came across this recipe via a Facebook ad a few days ago. Essentially this is the only thing of value that Facebook has really ever brought me... and it's good. I've always been a fan of roasted cauliflower but was really intrigued by how that would work with lasagna. The soup was a winner and so was the faux fried rice... and so is the lasagna.

I honestly think this is a recipe that you use when trying to trick children into eating vegetables. I know the cauliflower is there... but you really could completely miss it - provided you were under the age of 10 or so.

This variation did suggest that I use a food processor to mix the ricotta, egg, and etc - which might have been totally unnecessary but actually made it easier. It saved me the effort of finely diced the garlic or fresh basil.

So, go ahead and make this soon - especially if you are trying to trick some people into eating vegetables... like my Dad.
 (Step 1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the cauliflower in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread the florets in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast, tossing once, until tender and golden brown in spots, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool slightly.

(Step 2) Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil with 4 cloves sliced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a pot over medium heat until the garlic begins to sizzle and becomes aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate, about 30 seconds. Add the diced tomatoes with their juice, 1 cup of water and 4 large leaves of basil torn up. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 10-15 minutes. You should have about 3 3/4 cups of sauce - but really don't worry too much about it.

(Step 3) Combine the ricotta, egg, 1 1/2 cups of the roasted cauliflower and 1 chopped clove garlic in a food processor and pulse until evenly pureed. Tear the remaining basil into small pieces, add to the food processor and pulse 3 to 4 more times to chop the basil finely, but not puree.

(Step 4) Assemble the lasagna: Spread a thin layer of sauce (around 1/4 cup) on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Lay 4 of the noodles on the bottom, without overlapping, cutting to fit, if necessary. Spread with half of the cauliflower-ricotta mixture, followed by half of the roasted cauliflower, one-third of the tomato sauce, one-third of the mozzarella and one-third of the Parmesan. Loosely fit 3 more noodles on top of the cheese without overlapping. Spread with the remaining cauliflower-ricotta mixture, followed by the remaining roasted cauliflower, one-third more of the tomato sauce, one-third more of the mozzarella and one-third more of the Parmesan. Top with the remaining 4 lasagna noodles, cutting just to fit. Then add the remaining tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake until bubbly and hot, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook until the cheese begins to brown, about 10 minutes more. Allow to rest for 10 minutes so the lasagna will cut more easily.

Original Recipe from Food Network
Shopping List
8 cups cauliflower florets (from 1 head cauliflower; about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for coating the lasagna noodles
Kosher salt
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup water
5 cloves garlic, 4 sliced and 1 chopped
1 large red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup fresh basil leaves
8 ounces no bake lasagna noodles (about 12-14 noodles)
1 cup part-skim ricotta
1 large egg
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

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