Dear regular bloggy friends, here’s the recipe for the spinach and aubergine lasagne I told you about yesterday so feel free to skip this post/put the kettle on/walk the dog/fall asleep…
Quick and easy lasagne sounds a bit more appealing than ‘totally lazy lasagne from leftovers’. But that’s basically what this is. I love eating vegetarian lasagnes but can rarely be bothered to create each layer from scratch. Using frozen portions of home made veggie Bolognese and whatever veg is wilting in the fridge means a different tasty combination each time and less chance of getting bored of leftovers. This recipe can be adapted with any number of different vegetables and any tomato based sauce (and yes I have been known to make this with a shop bought sauce when time is really tight). If you only have enough time to devote to one ‘from scratch’ layer make it the top – there’s nothing like home made Bechamel sauce to finish a lasagne. I used a packet this time and as you can see from the photo it all but disappeared by the time the lasagne had finished baking.
To make a quick and easy aubergine and spinach lasagne
1 tub of veggie Bolognese (made using 1 onion, 1 red pepper, half a bag of Quorn mince, mushrooms, tin of tomatoes, garlic, vegetable stock, red wine, mixed herbs, aduki beans, puy lentils)
1 aubergine, fried or grilled before hand
4 large spinach leaves
4 lasagne sheets
1 packet of Bechamel sauce (or make your own white sauce using butter, milk, flour, bay leag or greek yoghurt)
grated parmesan or cheddar
tomato slices (optional)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C (gas mark 4, 350 F)
2. Defrost your frozen veggie mince or make it from scratch using ingredients above (sauté onion, mushroom, red pepper and quorn mince. Add tinned tomatoes, cup of veg stock, splash of red wine (optional) and herbs. Boil lentils and aduki beans for 20 minutes, strain and add to sauce or used tinned pulses. If you’re not keen on pulses try it anyway as they’re a great way of making your ingredients stretch further and they mush down so you’d hardly notice they were there). Turn down the heat and leave to simmer while you get on with the next steps)
3. Slice your aubergine in circles and shallow fry or grill until brown on both sides. Turn out onto a plate to cool for layering.
4. Wash the spinach leaves under the tap and shake off water (pat dry if still a bit soggy). Rip leaves or roughly chop for layering.
5. Spoon half the veggie Bolognese mix into the bottom of an oven proof dish. Add a layer of spinach and a layer of aubergine then cover with lasagne sheets.
6. Make your Bechamel sauce as per instructions on the packet (you’ll need milk, a small sauce pan and a whisk) and pour over the lasagne sheets.
7. Repeat with a second layer of sauces/veg/sheets/sauce
8. Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese over the top of the white sauce. If you like oily, gooey melted cheese you can use cheddar – personally I prefer the lighter, crunchier topping that parmesan creates.
9. Decorate with slices of tomato (optional) or sprinkle with some herbs
10. Bake for about 30 minutes until the lasagne is bubbling and golden brown on the top.
Serves 2 people with enormous appetites or 4 with salad and vegetable side dishes