If you are looking for a treat, and you have a bit more time to spend in the kitchen, then you must try this easy vegetable lasagne. The layers of pasta, sandwiched between Mediterranean vegetables in smoky tomato sauce and a rich cheese sauce, finished with a bubbly, crispy cheese topping creates a depth of flavour which is just “out of this world”.
Vegetable lasagne is a creative way to get more vegetables in your diet. My daughter who thinks she doesn’t like vegetables loves this dish, which is packed with vegetables.
Lasagne as originally prepared is not an everyday dish. The egg pasta is homemade, with authentic ragu sauce and bechamel sauce, which takes hours to prepare. The idea of this vegetable lasagne recipe is to get a taste close to the original without the spending hours in the kitchen. However, it is till not as quick as most of my recipes, but the delicious and flavoursome dish you get at the end makes it worth the time spent on it.
Lasagne Or Lasagna
I wasn’t sure whether the dish is called lasagne or lasagne, as they seem to be used interchangeably on the internet. Lasagna refers to the singular pasta sheet, while lasagne is plural, and as the dish is likely to have more than one sheet; then lasagne it is!
How To Make Vegetable Lasagne
Although bechamel sauce is traditionally used for lasagne, it adds another level of activity, which adds more time. A combination of ricotta and cottage work well. The richness of the ricotta is cut by the slight tangy taste of the cottage cheese; which creates just the right level of cheesy goodness in this vegetable lasagne. The cottage cheese will cook in the baked lasagne with the lumps, which doesn’t affect the taste, but you can whizz it in a blender to get rid of the lump if you prefer.
I used dried pasta sheets for this recipe, although the recommendation on the pack was not to pre-cook it all; I find that soaking it hot water for a few minutes help to make the pasta malleable, which makes it easy to arrange; but it also cooks to nice soft, but firm texture. I used store bought fresh pasta in the past, and the pasta became soggy quite quickly. However, I’m sure if you find a good quality fresh pasta; it will hold thorough the baking process.
Vegetable lasagne can keep in the fridge for a few days. You can also prepare a big batch ahead by preparing and assembling the lasagne in an oven dish, which you need to cover up before placing in the freezer. Defrost overnight and place on the oven when you are ready for your meal.
Easy Vegetable Lasagne
- 2 tablespoons Oil
- 1 Onions small, chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- 1 Courgette cubed
- 1 Aubergine cubes
- 2 Peppers sliced
- 6 Mushrooms big, sliced
- 500 g Passata (tomato puree)
- 200 ml Vegetable stock
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon Chopped fresh basil
- 150 g Ricotta
- 300 g Cottage cheese
- 100 g Grated Mozzarella
- ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon Chopped fresh Basil
- 10-16 Lasagne sheets
- Cheese sauce all of the quantity prepared
- Tomato sauce all of the quantity prepared
- 100 g Grated Mozzarella
- 30 g Parmesan grated
- Wash and prepare the vegetables.
- Preheat the oven to 180 0C fan/200 0C
- Heat the oil in a saucepan; and add the onions. Stir continuously until translucent.
- Add the garlic, smoked paprika and oregano. Continue stirring for around 30 secs.
- Pour in the vegetables and stir for the content of the pot to coat.
- Add the passata and the vegetable stock with a dash of salt to taste.
- Cover the pot and allow to simmer for around 10 mins.
- Add the chopped basil and leave for another 10 mins for the sauce to cook.
- Heat some water in a pot and allow to boil. Place the pasta sheets gently into the pot.
- Leave for around 3 mins, then gently tip out the hot water from the pot.
- Pour cold water over the pasta sheets in the pot and separate sheets under the cold water with your hands. Place/ spread the sheets on a tray to prevent sticking.
- While the pasta is soaking, mix all the ingredients for the cheese sauce in a bowl and stir well.
- Spread a layer of the tomato sauce thinly on the base of the baking dish. This will prevent the pasta sheet from sticking to the dish.
- Add a layer of single pasta sheets so it covers as much of the pan as possible.
- Add a layer of cheese sauce, followed by a layer of the tomato sauce.
- Repeat the two previous steps; and continue doing this until your baking dish is filled to the top.
- I like to finish with the cheese sauce, which I then top with grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Cover with a kitchen foil and allow to bake for 30 mins.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 30 mins to allow the sauce to hold the pasta together for a clean cut.
- If you can’t wait or don’t have the time, dig in immediately – you will have a gooey and mushy lasagne because of the warm cheese; but is not less delicious than if you allow it to cool.