• Chef Dylan

HOMESTYLE VEGGIE LASAGNE



You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this health filled lasagne. Don’t be afraid of the long list of ingredients as this recipe is super easy to put together.

As a kid, mum would make a veggie lasagne at least once a month and I would often sit in front of the oven watching the cheese bubble away and slowly turn a wonderful golden brown while savouring the aromas coming from the oven. You see, we were only allowed 30 minutes of TV a day and that would get used up pretty quickly as we would usually watch Conan the Barbarian and Astro Boy in the morning. So, watching food cook in the oven was sort of like a live TV show for me.

Did you know technically, lasagne did not originate in Italy as you may expect. It's origin can be traced way back to Ancient Greece. The name ‘lasagne’, or ‘lasagna’ is derived from the Greek word ‘laganon’; the first known form of pasta. Laganon was not a lasagna as we know it with traditional Italian ingredients, but it was composed of layers of pasta and sauce. So, it basically got its name from the method in which it was made and not for its ingredients.


The best part about this dish is that it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. It's a good one to be made in advance if you know you have a busy week coming up or a party planned and a lot to do on the day. The casserole dish can simply be reheated at 150°C for 30 minutes or until piping hot through and happy days.


PREP TIME: 30 mins

COOKING TIME: 30/40 mins

SERVINGS: 6


INGREDIENTS


SAUCE

  • 2 tbsps olive oil

  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped finely

  • 1 small onion, finely diced

  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 tinned crushed tomato

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 2-3 tbsps GAUCHO


VEGETABLE LAYERS

  • 2 tbsps olive oil

  • 1 small brown onion, diced

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 red capsicum, chopped

  • 200g button mushrooms, chopped

  • 1 medium zucchini, diced

  • salt and pepper

  • 1 tbsp butter


SPINACH RICOTTA FILLING

  • 100g fresh baby spinach blanched, squeezed of excess water and chopped (or use frozen spinach that has been de-frosted)

  • 200g ricotta

  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan, grated


LASASAGNE

  • 12 instant lasagne sheets

  • 200g Mozzarella, shredded

  • 100g tasty cheese, shredded

  • Garden herbs, garnish


METHOD

  1. Start the sauce so that it can simmer while you prep everything else.

  2. Heat oil in a saucepan and fry onions and garlic until fragrant; add GAUCHO and stir.

  3. Add fresh tomatoes, canned tomato, water, and let this come to a boil.

  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer stirring every 5 mins for 20-25 minutes till the tomatoes break down and the sauce is thick.

  5. For vegetable layers. Heat olive oil in a fry pan and fry onions and garlic until fragrant.

  6. Add capsicum, mushrooms zucchini and butter.

  7. Cook on high heat stirring for 5 minutes till the vegetables are cooked and any residual water has evaporated.

  8. Season with more salt and pepper if required.

  9. In a bowl mix together blanched spinach, ricotta, parmesan.

  10. Refrigerate till ready to use.


LAYERING THE LASAGNE

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

  2. Brush the base of a large baking casserole dish with olive oil.

  3. Spoon a ladleful of the sauce at the base and spread it out. Cover the base with lasagna sheets overlapping/tearing as required.

  4. Add all the spinach-ricotta mixture with a large spoon and spread it out. Cover with lasagne sheets.

  5. Add the roasted vegetables and spread them out. This will be the thickest layer. Add 2-3 ladles of sauce (approx 1.5 cups) and spread it over the veggies. Sprinkle a cup of cheese.

  6. Layer with lasagne sheets. Add 2 cups sauce on top and spread it out. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the lasagne is baked through (stick a knife in the middle to check - there should be no resistance) and the cheese is golden on top.

  8. This is an important step! Let the lasagne rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. This helps settle the layers and the lasagne won't fall apart when you serve up.

TO SERVE


Sprinkle with freshly chopped garden herbs and serve with some crusty garlic bread and a simple garden salad.