Italian Recipes/ Main Course

Fresh Tomato Homemade Lasagna Recipe

Beautiful lasagna on a white plate
Made with fresh tomatoes, (though you can use canned), this homemade lasagna recipe with fresh mushrooms and bechamel sauce is the perfect summer lasagna!

Fresh Tomato Lasagna Recipe Pic

There are so many lasagna recipes and they are all good, but in the summer I am partial to this easy lasagna recipe made with fresh tomatoes.

One could use canned tomatoes if need be, but either way, this is one delicious lasagna.

What makes it so perfect? Not laden with lots of extra cheese, this lasagna is made for tomato lovers. The simple sauce just shines.

The sauce isn’t burdened with the weight of the cheese. Nope! No mozzarella or ricotta in this lasagna recipe! Just a simple, white bechamel sauce to add flavor and richness.

Truthfully I prefer this lasagna with bechamel sauce instead of  cheese. But if you must, you can add a layer of mozzarella. I will let you!

No meat in this lasagna either, which I know lots of you love. In which case feel free to add a layer in the middle if you choose.

I however, prefer to add mushrooms. Porcini mushrooms add meatiness and flavor to this easy lasagna recipe, but if you can’t find those feel free to add in whatever your favorite mixture of mushrooms might be.

Summer Tomato Lasagna Pic

Dried mushrooms tend to have lots of concentrated flavor so see what you can find.

Don’t like mushrooms? Well, that’s easy to fix? Just leave them out!

This homemade lasagna is easily made with no boil noodles. I use Barilla and am quite happy with how tender they become.

Just make sure to cover them with very hot water and let them soak while you get your ingredients together. Then slide them through your fingers to remove the water before placing them into the lasagna dish. Make sure they are fully covered with sauce, so you don’t have any problems with them tasting dry and uncooked.

I don’t think I ate lasagna until I was 16 years old. I remember eating it at my best friend’s house. Her mom was Italian.

I remember her saying I had to come over because her mom, “WAS MAKING LASAGNA!” I’d heard about lasagna. I’d even eaten it in Hamburger Helper skillet dinner form.  My mom made that.

However, I never remember my mom making lasagna; but in all fairness my mom is Jewish and not Italian, and I can assure you her mom probably did not make lasagna-even the hamburger helper kind!

The only pasta dish I remember in our home that my mom made on a regular basis was spaghetti with meat sauce; which now that I think of it is pretty funny, because my mom loves pasta. I mean really loves pasta. No lie. I mean she didn’t even make macaroni and cheese!

Homemade Lasagna with fresh tomatoes

Well, I learned to make lasagna in college. It feeds a lot and was always a hit. I don’t remember having a recipe.

When the kids were born I remember making a lot of other pastas, too. Zoe especially loved pasta so we had it  once a week. Under the age of five they ate a lot of mini tortellinis and raviolis.

And then it was beloved spaghetti with real Italian sausage in the fall. We all loved linguini with clam sauce. The kids even requested it for their birthday when they were 7 years old.

Ziti al Fresco is a huge fave and I still make it at least once a year. It contains cream and we try to avoid that so I don’t make it as often as I wish I could.

Fettucine Alfredo is Zoe’s favorite and that also contains cream, but oh my, it is worth it at least once a year.

I made lots of buttered noodles in shapes of every kind to make Zoe happy. I often resorted to spaghetti with garlic, because that is my fave and you almost never need anything from the grocery to make it.

Often enough I just took left overs from the fridge and came up with a pasta dish. Tomato sauce or that enemy, cream, ties everything together.

Lasagna in Pan and Slice of Lasagna

Manservant likes pasta. But he doesn’t like it all the time. Either does Alex Odie San China Boy. But I guess that doesn’t include Chinese lo mein of which they both eat a lot.

Noodle bowls and pot stickers are pasta, are they not? I often made a lo mein bar with numerous toppings and sauces and let the kids choose what they wanted. I would then throw it in a wok and we were all happy campers. Individualized, easy meals!

But back to lasagna. I didn’t make it often when the kids were young. I don’t know why.

Maybe because I wasn’t used to making such a big pan. Whatever the case, I did make a mushroom lasagna that was so rich and luscious, we had it for special meals.

It did contain porcinis and I rationed those out with an iron fist. I still always request a bag of porcinis when friends go to Italy. Receiving porcinis is like a gift from the gods!

Recently I received one of those bags of porcinis from friends who returned from Italy so I invited them for dinner while Manservant was home. (Well, I think he was home, but 2 weeks flies by fast. If I figure it right he will be gone 50% of this year. And that’s another episode!)

Fresh Tomato Summer Lasagna

I knew she loved my mushroom lasagna but I was ready for something a bit lighter-more summery. Something I could use fresh tomatoes in. The bounty of summer-so to speak.

And so it is, I came up with this. No, it isn’t full of gobs of gooey cheese. This is a more healthy lasagna-if one can deem lasagna healthy. This one only contains Parmigiano which also falls into the gift from the gods category. I do love real  Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Have a bounty of tomatoes ready to come in? This lasagna is perfect for them. I used Marcella Hazan’s easy tomato sauce which is killer, if you haven’t tried it. Her sauce is superb on any pasta.

So with all these words on this page, you must be thinking pasta for dinner. This veggie lasagna with no boil noodles is so worthy!

A few last words. If anyone says to you, “My mom is making lasagna!” just dash over. Lasagna is so worth it!

Beautiful lasagna on a white plate

More To Try:

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Red Wine Meatballs

Chinese Noodles with Blackened Green Onions and an Angry Egg

Chinese Noodles with an Angry Egg

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fresh tomato and lasagna pic

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

A Few Things I Used When Making This Lasagna:

My food mill is also what I use for making apple sauce. Of course, it is good with tomatoes, too. I like this lasagna pan with handles, but I often use a metal one, if I don’t need something pretty! So yeah. Dried porcinis are expensive. But a little go a long way. Thank goodness for Amazon!

  

This is an updated post from August, 2016
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Fresh Tomato Summer Lasagna

Summer Tomato Lasagna

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 60 Minutes (Not all active)
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 45 Minutes
  • Yield: 6 - 8 Servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Oven/Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

This lasagna recipe is perfect for use with fresh summer tomatoes. No ricotta or mozzarella in this, just a simple bechamel sauce with lots of sauteed mushrooms.


Scale

Ingredients

1 recipe of tomato sauce:

3 1/2 lbs fresh Romas or plum tomatoes or 1 28 oz can good Italian tomatoes

12 oz or 1 1/2 sticks butter

1 1/2 medium onions, peeled and halved

1 1/2 t salt

1/2 t sugar

1 recipe bechamel sauce:

6 T butter

4 T flour

1 t salt

Fresh ground pepper

2 1/2 c milk, warmed in microwave for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes

Pinch of nutmeg (optional)

1 c fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 lb fresh mushrooms (optional) cleaned and sliced or chopped

3/4 c dried porcinis (soaked and liquid reserved) (optional)

3 T butter

1 box no boil lasagna noodles


Instructions

Tomato Sauce:

Wash tomatoes in cold water. Cut in half, lengthwise. Cook in a covered stockpot or saucepan until they have simmered for 10 minutes. Puree the tomatoes through a food mill back into the pot.

If you are using canned tomatoes, start at this point. (Canned tomatoes should also be run through a food mill or use an immersion blender.) Add butter, onion, salt and sugar and cook at a slow, but steady simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes. (I bring this to a slow boil on medium and then reduce my temperature to the lowest possible setting that keeps it simmering.)

Remove onion and slice into half moons and reserve for lasagna.

Directions: Bechamel Sauce

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour as butter melts and use a whisk to blend flour into the butter.

When mixture is golden and velvety, slowly stir in the warm milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir for about 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened and of smooth consistency.Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg until this tastes so good you can eat it from your spoon.

While bechamel and tomato sauce are cooking, start the mushrooms if using.

Heat butter in a large skillet. Add fresh mushrooms and cook on high heat until mushrooms release their juices. Let the juice simmer away.

Stir in strained and reserved liquid from the dried porcinis along with the chopped porcinis. Cook for a few minutes. Let liquid simmer away until the mushroom mixture is fairly dry. Season with salt and pepper.

Assembly:

Preheat oven to 450.

Soak 1 box of no boil lasagna noodles in very hot water. While these are soaking, prepare your baking pan. I used  a 9 x 11  deep pan. Grease with 1 T butter.

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.

Top with 1 layer of lasagna noodles.(I dry my noodles by running them between two fingers. This usually removes enough water.)

Spread with tomato sauce, some of the reserved onions and then some Parmigiano.

Now another layer of lasagna noodles and then spread with bechamel. Sprinkle with cheese. Add half of the mushrooms.

Now another layer of pasta and some tomato sauce and onions. Sprinkle with cheese. More pasta, Bechamel sauce, mushrooms and cheese.

One more layer of pasta with tomato sauce and onions, and cheese and finish with pasta and bechamel sprinkled with cheese.

You can always use more cheese if needed. I try to reserve some tomato sauce for pouring over while serving and you may also have some lasagna noodles left over.

Bake at 450 for 15 minutes or until top is light golden and sauce is bubbling.


Keywords: lasagna recipe, lasagna easy recipe, lasagna veggie, lasagna homemade, lasagna with bechamel, lasagna no boil noodles, lasagna without ricotta

 

 

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    August 2, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Your lasagna has to be both light and delicious…I can’t tell you how good it looks.

  • Reply
    Balvinder
    July 26, 2020 at 10:58 am

    YUM, YUM and more YUM!! I love lasagna, but I don’t eat it very often because I find it too much work to make gluten free for myself.. This looks so very tasty!

  • Reply
    Robotance
    July 31, 2018 at 12:25 am

    I remember the first time I made lasagna. It was a bad experiment. Your recipe looks amazing. I have never tried making lasagna using bechamel sauce or by using tomato. But after reading your recipe, I think I should give it a try. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Biz
    August 10, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    We had lasagna at least once a year for my brothers January birthday – he requested it every year! Me and my sister? We always went with tacos 😀

    That looks delicious – I am so happy I like mushrooms now – I went 40+ years thinking I hated them.

    And my daughter could live on pasta – except no red sauce, just butter and Parmesan cheese 😀

  • Reply
    paula | Vintage Kitchen
    August 10, 2016 at 9:58 am

    I haven't made lasagna in ages! We have a strong italian heritage here, so these are all very well known dishes. Still, my mom hardly ever cooked something so complex, jaja. It looks amazing, cheesy and rustic like a well made lasagna should!

  • Reply
    Juliana
    August 9, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    This is such a nice lasagna for summer…I love the idea of tomato sauce and bechamel sauce…looks delicious Abbe!
    Have a great week 🙂

  • Reply
    ChgoJohn
    August 9, 2016 at 3:11 am

    I was just speaking to a friend about making a tray of lasagna, Abbe. It's been well over a year since I made one. This time, though, will be eggplant. I've a number of them ripening at the same time. Your recipe here is a good one. It's lighter and seemingly tailor made for the summer months. Maybe I'll freeze my eggplant and make your lasagna. Yum!

  • Reply
    mjskit
    August 8, 2016 at 3:18 am

    What a great summer lasagne! Love the lighter tomato sauce and the mushrooms…well, they speak for themselves.

  • Reply
    Vicki Bensinger
    August 7, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I love lasagna but rarely make it. Yours looks amazing and the sauce looks decadent.

  • Reply
    Ansh Dhar
    August 7, 2016 at 6:21 am

    Oh my guy travels a ton too! May be we should match their schedules so we can have girls nights out :)) Bechamel is awesome in Lasagna. Perfection!

  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    August 6, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    It would be worth turning on the oven for this marvelous lasagna! I love the thought of a fresh tomato sauce. I've been checking out all your other pasta recipes, too—so yummy!

  • Reply
    Cheri Savory Spoon
    August 6, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    We love pasta but only have it a couple of times a month. Love that you do a bechamel sauce and a red sauce. This must taste extra special.

  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    August 6, 2016 at 5:03 am

    It would drive me nut if my husband had to travel so often. I am watching Jamie's 30 minutes menu while staring at your delicious lasagna…doubly hungry!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      August 6, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      It drives me crazy and is really hard on a relationship. But he needs a job and this is it! But then again, it also drives me crazy when he comes home, because I always feel it goes too fast. I'm always double hungry!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    August 6, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Love lasagna. And I like that you use bechamel in yours — I think that's the best way. Not the way I make mine — all tomato sauce, all the time, but I think bechamel adds a lot of flavor. Lasagna was the first "real" dish I made — used to be our company dish, or one of them (boeuf bourguignon was another). Truly good stuff — thanks.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      August 6, 2016 at 8:01 pm

      The first time I made and ate lasagna it didn't have the bechamel. I think the bechamel helps carry the flavor through and makes the entire bit so much richer and silkier and yummy! Wish I could come to your house for dinner!

  • Reply
    Karen Harris
    August 6, 2016 at 2:29 am

    I too remember the first time I ever had lasagna. It was magical. I know I would definitely love this recipe. It looks delicious.

  • Reply
    Holly @ abakershouse.com
    August 6, 2016 at 2:11 am

    Gorgeous lasagna! I'd be happy to eat this with you while you are on your own so much in the coming months. I find that I make lasagna once in a while and it feeds me for the whole week when I am eating on my own.

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    August 6, 2016 at 1:59 am

    I love lasagna..my mom never made one either.
    Today we took Lucas our oldest grandchild out to lunch and shopping for his birthday..I had lasagna:)
    In 100 degree weather..
    Yours looks terrific!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      August 6, 2016 at 7:58 pm

      Thanks Monique! This is a great, fresh and not too heavy lasagna! Wish I was with you for lunch!

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