My in-laws were coming round last weekend and I needed to make something for lunch. I had also, in error, opened a tin of chopped tomatoes so the the aforementioned lunch needed to make use of those! So, I decided to make a variation of my normal veggie lasagne. It worked really well and was well received. So, in keeping with my recent bout of food-based-blog-posts, here’s how to recreate it yourselves!
Tomato Sauce: 1 diced red onion, 3 cloves garlic, 400g tin chopped tomatoes, 15 cherry tomatoes (quartered), 2tsp dried basil
Vegetables: 1 medium sized butternut squash, 1 aubergine, 2 courgettes, medium sized bag of spinach
White Sauce: 25g plain flour, 25g butter, 300ml milk
Other things: Mozarella (1 – 2 balls depending on pref), lasagne sheets (enough for 3 layers – approx 6 – 9 sheets usually), baking dish
Tomato Sauce: Gently fry the diced onion for about 5 mins on a medium heat – do not let it burn. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 mins. Add the remaining ingredients and add a small amount of water. Leave for about 15 – 20 mins to break down. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Add a little more water if it starts to get too thick.
Vegetables: Heat the oven to about 160c (fan). Peel the squash and cut in to pieces about 2 – 3cm long/wide (removing all the seeds from the middle). Brush pieces lightly with olive oil, place on a baking sheet and bake until starting to soften (approx 20 mins). Slice the aubergine in to 2cm cubes and slice the courgettes in to rings. Lightly brush with oil and place on a second baking sheet in the oven until they also start to soften (approx 15 mins). Check the vegetables a couple of times and give them a mix round so they bake evenly. Whilst they are cooking, wilt the spinach for a few minutes in a pan.
White Sauce: Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the flour and mix to a smooth paste. Slowly add the milk ensuring each bit is fully combined to the flour/butter mixture before adding more. The mixture to should initially start to form a ‘dough’ before it then starts to smooth out in a thick sauce. Heat through for a few minutes and then remove from the heat.
Assembly: The lasagne is formed of 3 layers so split the vegetables in to 3 portions. Pop a 1/3 tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan, add in 1/3 vegetables, tops with lasagne sheets and then cover with 1/3 if the white sauce. Sprinkle on some mozzarella and then repeat for another layer. For the final layer, repeat previous step except before adding the lasagne sheets, layer in the wilted spinach.
Cooking: Cook immediately or later as required at 170c (fan) for approx 30 mins. Watch the top to make sure it doesn’t over brown – cover with a bit of foil if it does!