Thursday 9 May 2013

Vegetable Lasagne

From a recipe by Jeremy and Jane Strode in Winter + Food, The Sydney Morning Herald, May 2008.

Lasagne with lots of layers of vegetables is a wonderful comfort food. This recipe found in a pull-out from the newspaper looked as though it would fit the bill.

One layer was to be roast pumpkin So I cut up into pieces a suitable amount for one layer, put it in a roasting pan, sprinkled it with chilli flakes, salt and pepper and dribbled over it some olive oil. It was baked for 20 minutes in a 180ºC oven and then a handful of pine nuts and some thinly sliced sage leaves were added. It then went back into the oven until nicely cooked.
While the pumkin was cooking another of the layers was attended to. A chopped onion and a chopped garlic clove were sautéed in olive oil for 5 minutes. I then added an eggplant, peeled and cut into cubes, for another 5 minutes. Next went in a cubed red capsicum and 2 cubed zucchinis for 5 minutes more. Now I poured in a good cup of tomato puree. The recipe called for canned tomatoes but I had the puree on hand.  The mixture was now cooked for another 20 minutes.
While this was proceeding I went on to the next layer. 75g butter was melted in a saucepan. Now 75g plain flour was stirred into the butter and it was cooked for a few minutes. 500ml milk was slowly stirred in and brought to the boil while stirring continuously. A carton of sour cream (250ml) was stirred in and this layer was ready.
One more layer to go: spinach. I took a bunch of English spinach, chopped the leaves and added them to a frying pan with a little hot olive oil. They were stirred until wilted. The quantity was not large. I should have used two bunches.
The lasagne was now put together. The spinach went into the bottom of the casserole. A layer of pasta was added. Then the pumpkin went over this. A layer of pasta. A layer of the tomato mixture. A layer of the cream sauce. Pasta. Tomato mixture. Cream sauce. Now grated parmesan cheese was sprinkled over the top and it went into the oven for 45 minutes.
The lasagne turned out to be everything I had been hoping for: richly flavoured and comforting.
Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔

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