Rich Vegetable Lasagne – the perfect mid-week family meal for meat eaters and vegetarians
“Whether you are a meat eater or not, this will go down a treat. It’s hearty, nutritious and straightforward to prepare. I always make this quantity as it’s a great lunch dish for an extended family, to serve the following day, or pop in the freezer if you have any left over,” says Jo Pratt, author of the best-selling Madhouse Cookbook.
“My bit of advice is to use fresh lasagne sheets, as you simply cut to fit your dish, rather than getting frustrated and in a mess by trying to snap dried sheets. No matter how hard you try, they never break where you want them to!”
Rich Vegetable Lasagne Recipe
Makes: 4 adult and 4 kid-sized portions
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 1½ hours
2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 aubergine, cut into chunks
2 courgettes, cut into chunks
4 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 tbsp olive oil
200g/7oz cherry tomatoes, halved
350ml/12fl oz/1½ cups passata with basil
2 tbsp red or green pesto
1 handful of chopped black olives (optional)
200g/7oz fresh lasagne sheets
125g/4½oz mozzarella, grated or torn into small pieces
25g/1oz/¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup plain flour
500ml/17fl oz/2 cups milk
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
2. Put the red peppers, aubergine, courgettes and garlic in a roasting tray and toss with the oil. Roast for 25 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and turn gently in the oil. Return to the oven and cook for a further 15–20 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned.
3. Meanwhile, to make the béchamel, melt the butter in a saucepan with the bay leaf over a medium heat. Once it is bubbling, stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring all the time. Gradually add the milk and bring to the boil, still stirring. Reduce the heat and stir until the sauce has thickened, then leave to simmer over a very low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf, add the nutmeg and season lightly with salt and pepper.
4. Once the vegetables are cooked, remove the garlic cloves and squash the cooked garlic to a paste. Stir into the passata along with the pesto and olives, if using. Pour the passata into the vegetable tray, season lightly with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
5. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
6. Spoon one-third of the vegetable mixture into the base of a large ovenproof dish. Top with a layer of lasagne sheets, then drizzle over one-third of the béchamel sauce. Repeat so you have three layers of lasagne, finishing with the béchamel. Scatter over the mozzarella and Parmesan. (You can prepare the lasagne right up to this stage and chill until needed.) Put on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes until golden and bubbling. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, then serve.
Find more inspiring quick and easy recipes in bestselling author Jo Pratt’s latest book, Madhouse Cookbook. A life-transforming collection of recipes for busy parents – for surviving the stressful week, coping with weekends and enabling you to cling onto your social life. Follow Jo on her inspiring website jopratt.co.uk
Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt
224 pages • Illustrated • £20.00
AUS $35.00 NZ $42.00