Roast Veggie Lasagne

27 Jan

This one is a bit of a labour of love, but my goodness is it worth every minute (I say this as someone who didn’t actually do the cooking but certainly enjoyed the outcome!). It’s a nice option for the family to make at the weekend, when everyone can have a job of their own to contribute to a marvellously delicious meal, or a good one to make when you’ve got a bit of time at home to make all the components from scratch. To be honest, it’s not difficult at all, but it can generate a bit of washing up!

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We like to try and do a veggie option every now and then, as it helps to reduce saturated fat intake (nasty fats which clog up your arteries and lead to ischaemic heart disease and stroke, amongst other things), and increases the wonderful veggie vitamin and mineral intake (good for, well, everything…). When a dish tastes this good, it’s hard to imagine why anyone wouldn’t choose this over a similar meat option. It’s such a comforting, healthy dish which really warms you up from the inside when the weather is so utterly pants! You don’t technically have  to make your own tomato sauce, but it’s much healthier than buying jarred/tinned sauces, and it adds a depth of richness and flavour that you don’t generally find in the packaged stuff. I definitely don’t like buying ready made bechamel (or ‘white sauce’) as I find it tastes very artificial, and it’s often packed with so many preservatives and so much salt that it just wipes out the health benefits of an otherwise healthy recipe. It’s so easy to make too, and as you can freeze it you may as well make double the amount to save on time later!

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It’s another from the ‘good food’ website, and it makes a jolly generous amount. At least enough for six! We added a load of frozen peas too, because I’m a little bit obsessed with peas. They’re tiny power houses of nutritional benefits: high in iron, fibre, vitamin C and a load of anti-oxidants – what’s not to love?!

Recipe

Lasagne

  • 3 red peppers
  • 2 aubergines
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 quantity tomato sauce – recipe below (we actually used the entire quantity!)
  • 300g lasagne sheets
  • 1/2 quantity white sauce
  • 125g mozzarella
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes

Tomato sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 200ml white wine
  • 3 x 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 handful basil leaves

White sauce

  • 85g butter
  • 85g plain flour
  • 750ml milk
  1. Make tomato sauce: heat oil in a pan and add the onions, garlic and carrot. Cook for around 6-7 minutes until everything has softened nicely. Stir in the tomato puree and turn up the heat a little, cooking for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook for around 5 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about two thirds. Add the chopped tomatoes and basil and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes then blitz in a food processor (you can freeze this sauce and use it for other things like spag bol, or a simple delicious pasta sauce).
  2. Heat oven to 180C (fan).
  3. Chop the peppers into large pieces, getting rid of the seeds and slice the aubergines (getting rid of the ends). Stick them onto a lightly greased baking tray or two, drizzle with olive oil, season well and roast for 25 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour. Cook for around 2 minutes and then slowly whisk in the milk. You’ll need to give it a good old whisk to make sure it doesn’t go lumpy! Bring it to the boil, continuously stirring to avoid those pesky lumps. Reduce the heat and keep it cooking until it starts to thicken – enough to be able to coat the back of a spoon is thick enough (when cool, you can freeze until you need it).
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C (fan) and lightly oil a large ovenproof dish (30x20cm). Place a layer of veggies on the bottom of the dish and pour over about one third of the tomato sauce. Place a layer of lasagne sheets on top of this, then add a layer of white sauce (about a quarter of it should do). Repeat this process until you’ve got yourself three scrummy layers.
  6. Spoon the remaining white sauce over the top to make sure there’s no pesky pasta poking out (it will burn otherwise), and tear over your mozzarella along with the halved tomatoes.
  7. Bake in the centre of the oven for about an hour if using dried lasagne sheets, or 45 minutes if using fresh.
  8. Enjoy on its own or with a side of fresh rocket salad, and with the rest of that white wine!
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One Response to “Roast Veggie Lasagne”

  1. Stephanie January 29, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    Looks delicious; a great winter dish!

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