Easy Veggie Lasagne

Prep Time:40 mins, Cook Time: 30 mins, Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins

February 5, 2018


Who doesn’t love a lasagne? Well my daughter for one. I’m never too sure why, but thankfully of late she’s conceded to actually eating it without too much whinging. Jacques (aka Pasta Man) and I could  happily eat it every day, though that would seem a tad harsh on Fran. This is quite a rich veggie lasagne and should satisfy the most ardent of carnivores.

I’ve successfully made this recipe at many an school cook club and with my own kids too, proving a good deal less faffy and time consuming than an ordinary lasagne. It leaves out the béchamel cheese sauce replacing with a simple mix of creme fraiche and grated cheese, a handy little kitchen hack to save on sauce time. You can of course do this for a meat lasagne too. Equally, feel free to make a béchamel/cheese sauce if you wish. 

The veggie bolognese makes for a delish sauce in it’s own right to serve with pasta, so why not make a big batch to freeze in portions for later use. Do use whatever veggies are in season or you have in, mine are only suggestions. If your kids are particularly veg adverse, whiz them through a food processor to a very fine dice (the veggies, not the children). For an even healthier kick, use wholewheat pasta.

The Good Stuff:

Onion, Carrots, Celery, Red Pepper, Courgette, Mushrooms, Garlic, Tomatoes, Cheese, any other Veggies you choose to add



Great For:

Little Kids, Big Kids, Grown Ups, Making with Kids, Learning to Cook, Vegetarians, Mid Week Dinners, Weekends, Lunch, Dinner, Pasta Fiends



Notes:

* Substitute any of the veggies for others, like green beans, spinach, finely chopped butternut squash or pumpkin, aubergine, peas or sweetcorn.



Special Equipment:

An ovenproof dish



Easy Veggie Lasagne

Ingredients Prep Time:40 mins, Cook Time: 30 mins, Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins

For the Veggie Bolognese:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1 small carrot, very finely chopped
1 celery stick, very finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, deseeded & finely chopped*
1 small courgette, finely chopped*
100g mushrooms, finely chopped*
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped or crushed in a garlic press
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon marmite
1 pinch each of salt, pepper & sugar
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree

For the Lasagne:
300ml tub half fat creme fraiche
75g Grana Padano or Parmesan or Cheddar cheese, finely grated
8 to 10 pieces dried lasagne
125g ball Mozzarella

1. To make the veggie bolognese, finely chop all the veggies.

2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Gently cook the onion, carrot & celery for 5 minutes, stirring regularly so nothing catches. Now add the chopped pepper, courgette and mushrooms, continue to cook for 5 minutes, still stirring regularly.

3. Stir in the the garlic, oregano, Marmite and a pinch each of sugar, salt and pepper. Now add the tin of chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Give everything a good stir and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook the sauce for 15 minutes on a low heat, add a little water if the veggies start to stick. The sauce is ready when the veggies are just tender.

4. Heat oven to 200c/180c fan/gas 6.

5. Spoon the creme fraiche into a small mixing bowl. Mix in 2 tablespoons of water to thin down the cream a little.

6.To assemble the lasagne, spoon a little of the veggie bolognese sauce into the bottom of a small ovenproof dish (about 20cm by 20cm or equivalent), spreading the sauce over the base. Cover the sauce with sheets of lasagne, breaking pieces to fit. Now spread over the pasta a fine layer of the cream (about 1 tablespoon) and scatter over a small handful of the cheese.

7. Repeat with more sauce and another layer of pasta, cream and the cheese. Repeat two more times, finishing with a layer off the pasta. Spoon the rest of the cream over the top. Tear up the Mozzarella and dot pieces evenly over the top. Now sprinkle over the rest of the grated cheese.

8. Place in the hot oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling on the top. Use a knife to check the pasta is cooked.

Serve with extra veggies or salad!.

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