Morgan's Veggie Ragu

My incredible sister Morgan set a standard of kindness, generosity, and straight-up humanity that I try hard to honor and exemplify every[ day of my life. She was also a lasagna thief. When we'd all get together I never wanted her (as the only vegetarian in the group) to be forced to eat only the side dishes around a big meaty main course. So I'd make a giant veggie lasagna to add to the spread. I can't tell you how many times she'd have just one slice and then take the whole thing home! I'd be standing there like, "Yeah, sure, Morgan, take the entire lasagna home with you. That's just what I meant for you to do." Aw, well, little sisters, right? This one's for you, Bips. The biggest problem with most vegetarian lasagnas is their texture. All mush. The trick for kickass vegetarian lasagna is to roast all the liquid out of the vegetables before they get anywhere near the noodles. Use this ragu in place of meat ragu. And don't be surprised when your sister swipes the leftovers.]

Total Time:
55 min
30 min
25 min

8 servings

  • 1 Japanese eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 1 small yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 1 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 4 celery stalks, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch-thick coins
  • 1 small onion, sliced into thin wedges
  • 4 cups chopped kale leaves (ribs and stems removed)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 7 or 8 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • One 28-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, with their juice
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  • Place the eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, bell pepper, fennel, celery, carrot, onion, kale, garlic, chili flakes, basil, marjoram, and oregano in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Spread the vegetables out on two large roasting pans and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes, until well charred. Spoon the crushed tomatoes over the vegetables and bake until browned and bubbly, 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  • Working in batches, place the vegetables in a food processor and process until the vegetables are well broken down into a chunky-sauce consistency.

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