I don’t know about you but in our house, Sunday nights are for sofa time, wine and some sort of hearty home-baked classic. Being veggie, I’ve never been the biggest roast dinner fiend, but I am ALL about a bake. Growing up, nothing used to beat Mum’s homemade lasagne. I ate meat back then so it was always mince lasagne but it was the BEST. I remember we even used to have cold leftovers before school on a Monday morning — still what I’d consider to be the best breakfast there is…
Let’s be honest though, making lasagne is a TASK. One that ’til now, I’ve struggled to master — it’s always too sloppy, the white sauce always overflows in the microwave, there are never enough layers… But let it be known, after much trial and error, I think I’ve finally conquered it! Even Ed, the harshest critic approves, so I thought I’d go ahead and share it on here. I'm calling it the ultimate Sunday night lasagne because this particular recipe is quick because the white sauce is just 4 ingredients and doesn’t need any cooking — that saves a tonne of time. Obviously you can swap the veg out for meat, or do a bit of a mix and match job if you fancy both. I usually make one veggie for me and one meat for Ed then we have loads of leftovers that are perfect packed lunches or great to just pop in the freezer.
To serve 4 with big appetites!
FOR THE FILLING
1 aubergine (cut into cubes)
two handfuls of mushrooms
big bag of spinach
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
a squidge of marmite
FOR THE WHITE SAUCE
a tub of ricotta
1 cup of yoghurt
pinch of nutmeg
TO BRING IT ALL TOGETHER
mozzarella cheese (grated or a ball)
Heat your oven to 200 degrees.
Chop your aubergine and slice your mushrooms and onions, and throw them all in a pan with some oil until they're cooked and golden.
Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and your squidge of marmite and leave to simmer. Throw in your spinach 10-15 minutes later, so it's nicely wilted down and keep simmering until it's a ragu kind of consistency — you don't want too much liquid.
On to the white sauce, whisk your egg and stir in the ricotta, yoghurt, and pinch of nutmeg — easy!
Now for the assembling. Thinly cover the bottom of your dish with the veggie ragu, just enough that it covers it all.
Lay your lasagne sheets to cover the sauce, and dollop your white sauce on top.
Go back in with the ragu, lightly dolloping/ spreading it over the white sauce, then lay your pasta sheets again and repeat till you're out of mixture, finishing with the lasagne sheets covered on the top layer. The secret to layering is less is more. You want to dollop and spread the sauces, just enough so they cover the pasta, rather than laying thick layers. You'll have more mixture for more layers this way — the secret to avoiding sloppy slices.
Finally, make sure the top layer of pasta is all covered (or it goes hard) and scatter mozzarella and basil over the top.
Pop it in the oven for 45 minutes or until it's bubbly and crisp on top. Leave 10-15 minutes to cool a little before serving — again, seems to help the layers not slop about. Then voila, you're ready to dish up!
* You could add lentils, butternut squash or Quorn mince to the veggie sauce alternatively, or mince if you're catering for meat eaters.
* Lasagne freezes really well too so just slice it up and we just pop in tupperware for easy week-night meals when the other one of us is out!