Prep: 30 mins.
Cooking: 40 mins.
Rating: 2: Easy, but a bit long-winded (but worth it).
- Pack of lasagne pasta sheets
- Veg/nuts/pulses that you want to use
- Can of chopped tomatoes
- Tomato puree
- Extra cheese, grated, for the top (Parmesan would be nice, but don’t feel guilty if it’s got to be ‘mousetrap’)
- Frying pan
- Oven dish
- A batch of Delia’s all-in-one cheese sauce, for which, you’ll need:
- 40g butter
- 25g plain flour
- 425ml cold milk
- Salt & pepper
- Grated cheddar or Leicester cheese
Just the same as the non-veggie one, but using nuts, mushrooms, aubergines and other veggie stuff instead of the mince.
IMPORTANT: Buy a packet of lasagne pasta sheets. There is simply no point in messin’ about trying to make pasta – life’s too short as it is!How does this work?Close
For the mixture:
- Start by chopping an onion and getting it into a large frying pan (low to medium heat) with some oil. Soften the onions.
- Peel & cube the veg that you’ll be using. Sweet potato/yam is a good one for this. Garlic? Why not!? Courgette/marrow, field mushrooms (but don’t go to the expense of getting wild mushrooms as they’ll be lost in the other flavours). Remember that texture is important, so use toasted pine nuts, walnuts, almonds or something with a bit of resistance to the bite as well as the softer bits. Bung ‘em all in and get ‘em frying well.
- Open a can of chopped toms and chuck that in, too; then rinse the can with half a can of cold water and pop that in too. A really good dollop of tomato puree should be next. No, don’t be tight….. more of it! Get the mixture bubbling and then simmer for a while.It’s simple.
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For the pasta: For the sauce:
Place all the ingredients into a saucepan. Put the saucepan on a medium heat and whisk (balloon whisk or electric) until the sauce starts to bubble and thicken. Then stir with a wooden spoon to get right into the corners of the pan and whisk again thoroughly. Mix in the grated cheese. “How much cheese?” I hear you call…. The answer is “As much as you like”. Save some for the top though, just to make it pretty.
My eldest brother always insists that lasagne isn’t just cooked – it’s built!
He’s probably about right, actually, as it’s ultimately an assembly job using all the bits that have been cooked.
- Veg mixture
- Pasta sheets
- White sauce
- So, take your oven dish. You can see how much ‘stuff’ there is to go into it, so pick one that’s big enough. Lasagne is well-known for bubbling up and spilling over the edge of the dish, making your oven mucky!
- Pick a dish that is big enough (or use two smaller ones) and even then, always stand the dish on a baking sheet or oven tray that is more easily cleaned than the bottom of the oven.
- Plop about a quarter of the veg mixture in the bottom of your oven dish and spread it around with the back of a spoon.
- Place some dry pasta sheets on top (according to size of sheet/dish), overlapping a little. Yes, you’ve guessed it; it’s just a layer that you want. Snapping the sheets to make them fit is fine.
- Spread about a quarter of the cheese sauce on the pasta.
- Season with lots of black pepper!
- Now you are getting the hang of this…. yes, now do it all again for the second layer
- …. and then do a third layer, this time putting the remaining sauce on top so that it permeates down during cooking. Sprinkle the grated cheese (that you wisely kept back) on the top of the final layer of cheese sauce.
- Pop it into a preheated oven (180C) for 20-30 mins.
WARNING: When it’s cooked, this needs to be taken out of the oven about 10 minutes before serving, because the contents of the dish will be awfully hot. SCALDINGLY hot. I know that it’s obvious, but believe me; it’ll be DANGEROUSLY hot if you serve it immediately.
- Serve it with salad and enjoy it.
Thinking about it, how about making a lasagne using just wild mushrooms in a liquidised field mushroom white sauce…….?
5V16a – Pasta-Free-Pasta?
Instead of using pasta sheets, if you would like to make it pasta free (Uh? A Pasta-free pasta dish?????)
Yes! Just use leeks to make replacement ‘sheets’ (unwrap them, silly!) and you’ll be able to get rid of the flour content….. gluten free an’ all that! For the sauce, use gram flour instead of wheat flour.
So, all you need to do is unwrap as many leeks as you need, trim them to shape/size and boil them for 10-15 mins.
With appreciative thanks to The Hairy Bikers who thought of the leek trick first – a lovely bit of sideways thinking. Well done chaps! Unless they heard about it somewhere and thought it a good idea…. I don’t really mind.
- Is there really any such thing as a ‘new’ recipe?