As a household we are trying to consume less meat. So we are constantly trying to find new vegetarian recipes to try out. One of my favourite ones that I’ve come across recently is this epic veggie lasagne. It’s actually a Jamie Oliver recipe which can be easily adapted. It’s also meant to serve 10 so I’ve reduced the quantities down a bit. It’s great for when you have friends/family over and need to feed a lot of people.
For the lasagne
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 courgette
- red onion
- 2 carrots depending on size
- 200g spinach
- 1 pepper – colour of your choice
- 2 small aubergines or a large one
- Tinned tomatoes 400g
- Ricotta 200g
- Herbs – oregano, rosemary
- Dash of balsamic vinegar
- Lasagne sheets – I use dried Ines but you can use fresh if you want.
For the sauce
- 25g/1oz butter
- 25g/1oz plain flour
- 600ml/1 pint milk
- salt and pepper
- 80g/3oz cheese, grated (e.g. mature cheddar, Gouda, gruyère, parmesan)
- Begin by preheating the oven to 190/gas mark 5.
- Halve the squash, scooping out the seeds and cover the squash in a bit of oil, salt and pepper, and roast in the oven for 45 mins. Once cooked, remove the skin and mash the squash.
- Chop all the vegetables, and add to a large saucepan, cook for a few minutes until soft and then add the tinned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and herbs. Leave to simmer for 15/20 minutes.
- Cook the spinach according to the packet. I like to wilt mine down in a pan with a little oil until all the water has evaporated.
- Then make a white sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and gradually stir in the milk to get a smooth sauce. Return to the heat and, stirring all the time, bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 8-10 minutes and season with salt and white pepper. Add the cheese once off the heat.
- Next comes the layering. In a large deep oven proof dish (I’ve made this so big before that I used a roasting tin) place a layer of lasagne sheets on the bottom. Followed by a layer of the vegetables, followed by some of the mashed butternut squash and spinach. Then some of the ricotta cheese. Don’t worry about making this look good. Cover in a layer of more lasagne sheets. Continue doing this until you have filled your dish. Finally top with the white cheese sauce and cook for around 40 minutes.
- Serve with a lovely green salad, garlic bread or whatever else takes your fancy.