Mimi's Vegetable Lasagna

This version is far lighter than a meat based lasagna, but still incredibly satisfying. I have given quantities below to make two medium size lasagnas: one for eating and one for the freezer! If you are going to make this you want to cook once and eat twice. In my opinion, good lasagnas need lots of layers, the temptation is to dollop on lots of sauce. Use restraint and add a little sauce, between lots of layers of roasted vegetables and pasta sheets. The end result will be delicious.

This recipe is slightly more labour intensive my usual recipes: a well made lasagna is a time consuming process. But to make it slightly quicker I use a quick hack, for an instant white sauce and dried lasagna pasta sheets. I would recommend making either a batch of tomato sauce ahead, or roasting the vegetables ahead: to give yourself less prep time when you make the actual the lasagna Or at least this is how I make this dish, in two stages.

 
roastedvegetablelasagna_prep.jpg

roasted vegetables ~

  • 1/4 butternut squash, 150g approx

  • x2 red peppers, 300g approx

  • x2 medium courgettes, 350g

  • 1 aubergine, 250g-300g approx

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • fresh thyme leaves

tomato sauce ~

  • x1 large onion, 130g approx

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 cans of plum tomatoes (400g per can)

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree

  • 1/2 can/ 250ml water

quick white sauce ~

  • 300g ricotta cheese

  • 6 tablespoons milk

  • 50g Parmesan cheese, grated

  • black pepper

to assemble the lasagna ~

  • x15 dried lasagna sheets (approx) this will depend on the size of your dish, you want roughly 3 layers of pasta for your lasagna to hold its shape

  • Some grated parmesan for the top

  • One large baking dish/ or two smaller dishes

 

roasting the vegetables ~

Preheat your oven to 180C (fan oven), meanwhile prep the vegetables:

  • I slice the aubergine and courgettes lengthways, to resemble pasta sheets, that way they will layer well

  • Cube the butternut squash

  • Cut the red pepper into large pieces, as smaller pieces catch when roasting

Toss all the vegetables in olive oil, 1-2 tablespoons fresh thyme and a little black pepper. Spread onto lined baking sheets and roast in the oven for 15-25 mins (15 mins for peppers- 25 mins for butternut squash), until roasted. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

 

to make the tomato sauce ~

Peel, trim and dice the onion and add to a large ceramic pot (big enough to hold all the tomatoes). Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Soften gently over a low-medium heat, so as not to brown the onions for 10 mins or so. Next crush the garlic and add to the onions, cook for 1-2 minutes and stir so the garlic does not catch. Add the tinned plum tomatoes (x3) and top up the tomatoes with 1/2 can of cold water. Finally, 1 tablespoon of tomato puree and the dried oregano.

Bring the tomato sauce up to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and leave to cook away for 25-30mins. The sauce will intensify in flavour and thicken. Taste and season (no salt for babies under 1 years).

Set aside, to cool.

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to make my quick white sauce ~

In a bowl combine the ricotta, milk, grated parmesan and a grind of black pepper. Combine thoroughly and set aside: instant white sauce!

n.b. this sauce is useful in so many oven baked dishes, you will find yourself using this again

 
roastedvegetablelasagna_toplayer.jpg

finally, to assemble the lasagna ~

Take your baking dishes and layer the lasagna, there is no right or way just plenty of layers and keep pressing the layers down. Here is the order I use:

  1. ladleful of tomato sauce to the bottom of the dish

  2. layer of roasted aubergine slices (all)

  3. 1st layer of pasta sheets (single layer)

  4. layer of quick white sauce

  5. scatter with roasted butternut squash (you can also lightly mash this)

  6. ladleful of tomato sauce

  7. 2nd layer of pasta sheets (single layer)

  8. thin ladleful of tomato sauce to the bottom of the dish

  9. layer of roasted courgettes (all)

  10. layer of quick white sauce

  11. scatter with roasted pepper

  12. 3rd layer of pasta sheets (single layer)

  13. layer of quick white sauce

  14. top layer/ ladleful of tomato sauce to the bottom of the dish

  15. Scatter with Parmesan cheese


 

you are ready to cook!

  • cool and freeze x1 lasagna

  • & when you are ready cook the other lasagna at 180C fan for 25 minutes until golden and bubbling. I wrap in foil for the first 15 minutes and then remove the foil to brown the top for the last 10 minutes, or so, of cooking.

 
pastaMiriam Cooper