Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Lasagne

Italians will tell you that the best bit of a lasagne is the crispy edges. The bits of the pasta sheets you let overhang the sides and that go all brown and crunchy as the lasagne cooks.  Italian families fight about who gets them! For years I’d been dutifully tucking them all in – as I suspect most of us non-Italians do – until, by chance, I had lunch with some Italians.  I was converted, they were amazed that I didn’t know about it, and now I am sharing it with you.

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Lasagne with pasta sheets overhanging sides prior to going in oven.

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Crispy edges after baking

This lasagne is very tasty and can easily be vegan if you use non dairy substitutes.  If you have made cashew “cheese” that’s very tasty in the sauce rather than a bought vegan cheese

Although you can buy “oven ready” lagsagne sheets these really don’t work for the overhang method as I find they need lots of sauce to cook properly which they won’t get on the edges   I use the less expensive pasta sheets which I simmer in boiling water for a couple of minutes to soften before plunging them into a large bowl of cold water to stop them sticking  Depending on size of dish (mine was a fairly deep rather than wide dish) you are using you may need an extra few pasta sheets  Lay out a layer of dried sheets on dish to check how many you need if necessary

You can swap the pasta sheets for thinly sliced, skin on potatoes (something like King Edwards work well) that have been boiled for 5 mins if you prefer which works very well.  It’s not so dissimilar in principle to the Aubergine and Sweet Potato Bake with Walnuts

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Diced vegetables ready to roast for filling

Don’t feel you have to stick to the veggies I use in the filling   If you don’t like any of them swap it with something you do like, roast extra veggies with your previous meal or throw in any leftover veg you have that would suit.  You can also add a layer of raw baby spinach leaves on top of veggies when you are assembling should you wish to up your veggie intake

The topping is an all in one method for a bechamel sauce which makes it easy to do and the addition of the egg makes it puff up when baked

Ingredients (serves 2-4)

For the tomato sauce

  • 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes
  • 2 x crushed cloves garlic
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 75ml red wine (optional)
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For the lasagne

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 aubergine, diced
  • 2 courgettes, diced
  • 2 red peppers, diced
  • leaves from a handful of basil
  • 9 lasagne sheets, softened in boiling water, plunged into bowl of cold to stop sticking – see notes above

For the topping

  • 300ml milk
  • 25g flour
  • 30g butter
  • seasoning
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 150g mature cheddar, grated

Method

  1. Turn oven to 180c
  2. Place diced vegetables for the filling onto a baking tray, toss in olive oil and seasoning and roast for 20-30 mins till soft
  3. Put the sauce ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer stirring frequently. Turn heat down to low and let bubble away till thick stirring from time to time until thick (30-40 mins)
  4. To make the topping pit butter, flour, milk and seasoning into a saucepan and season
  5. Over a medium heat whisk all the time until sauce has thickened.  Cook at a simmer, whisking occasionally, to cook out the flour
  6. Add 100g cheese and stir till melted
  7. Quickly whisk in the beaten egg
  8. To assemble the lasagne put a layer of tomatoe sauce, a layer of roasted vegetables, some torn basil leaves on bottom of tin/ serving dish.
  9. Shake off water from 3 pasta sheets and add layer allowing edges to overhang.
  10. Repeat layers
  11. Press down on final pasta layer and pour over topping sauce scattering remaining cheese on top
  12. Bake for 30-40 mins until bubbling and the edges are crispy
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Close up of vegetarian Lasagne

NB. You can assemble the lasagne the day before and cover with clingfilm   Keep in fridge until ready to bake   I serve with salad

 

2 Comments

  1. So inviting and healthy looking Rosie!! Good for a cold winter’s day. What have you been up to there?? (besides the chimney sweep coming!). Do you have indoor hobbies for winter? (besides making all these beautiful dishes?). Been reading?? Love your blog– waiting to see what you’ll make next! hugs from here!

    • Lickthespoon says:

      I have all three of your recommended books lined up to read. I’ve been indulging in my love of detective stories recently so it will do me good to change genre. Just finished The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz who did Foyles War and the Poirots on tv and has also written some Sherlock Holmes novels etc. This Word is murder was interesting because he played with the concept of real life relevance and fiction. It was an easy but gripping read.
      I am trying to finish of some knitting and I really must pick up piano practice again as I’ve been lazy of late. I’ve no excuse because I just had my mother’s piano restored!
      Have you done any of your beautiful quilting lately?

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