Tuesday, 2 August 2016


Image result for italian chef kissing fingers

This is my recipe for Vegetarian Lasagne that I have perfected over the years. You will need:

5 or 6 sheets of lasagne [I soak these in cold water for 3-4 minutes]
1 normal-size aubergine sliced
2 courgettes sliced
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 large onion chopped
I red pepper sliced
125g mozzarella cheese sliced
150g cheddar cheese grated
40g butter
Decent glug of olive oil
Salt & pepper
50g plain white flour
Cup + half of milk
Half glass of red wine
Can of chopped tomatoes
Good squeeze of tomato paste
6 small mushrooms, sliced
Heaped tablespoonful pesto [red or green]

Before you start . . . have everything ready, oven pre-heated, lasagne dish greased all the spoons and tools you are going to need because this is an intense non-stop one hour of cooking and you can’t take your eyes off anything.
You need to cook all the vegetables in a large frying pan with all the oil. I start with the courgettes, cook both sides of the slices lightly. Leave in pan while you add the crushed garlic and chopped onion all on a medium heat but you need to keep in control of the heat; if it needs to go higher turn it higher. Add aubergine again cook both sides of each slice lightly push other ingredients to one side while you are doing this. Add red pepper. Add sliced mushrooms. Keep moving things around the pan until all sides of everything are cooked.
Add red wine.
Add tin of tomatoes and squeeze of tomato paste. Mix in then add the pesto. Mix again.

Now is the moment to soak the lasagne sheets.

Heat butter in a saucepan, add flour, stir in milk bit by bit as soon as mixture thickens add cheddar cheese stirring constantly. Keep stirring another minute then turn heat down almost to zero. Now  take the lasagne sheets out of the water [they will be sloppy . . . take care]. Put dollop of vegetable mixture into bottom of lasagne dish. Add lasagne sheet, then some cheese mix, then another dollop of vegetable mix and so on until a final layer of cheese mix on the top. You don’t have to be too prescriptive about this but you must end with the cheese mix on the top. If it all looks a bit dry, pour a cup of milk into the dish. Finally, scatter the slices of mozzarella across the top.
Heat on the top shelf in a not-too hot oven [about 180deg] for half an hour. No more or it really will dry out.
Essentially what you have made is a ratatouille between lasagne sheets with a creamy, cheesy sauce.

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