Vege Lasagna with Pesto

Serves

Six

Prep Time

60 mins

Cook Time

35 Mins

Difficulty

Moderate
  • Ingredients

  • 300g (10.5 oz) English spinach leaves, around 2 bunches

  • 300g (10.5 oz) button mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 large leek, white part sliced

  • 300g (10.5 oz) peeled and thinly sliced pumpkin

  • 3 large zucchini, thinly sliced on an angle

  • 2 x 400g (14 oz) diced tinned tomatoes

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 375g (13.2 oz) instant lasagna sheets

  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

  • 1/4 cup pouring cream

  • Olive oil for cooking

  • Salt and Pepper

  • 1 quantity Quick Basil Pesto (see recipe)

Comments

This lasagna will hit the spot with meat eaters and non meat eaters. A great way to use up excess vegetables. The veges are sauteed for added flavour.

Pairs well with …..

Salad leaves tossed in balsamic vinegar and olive oil

  • Cheese Sauce:

  • 80g (2.8 oz) butter

  • 4 tablespoons plain (all purpose) flour

  • 750ml (25 fl.oz) milk

  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated (or 3/4 cup parmesan)

  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

  • Salt, to taste

Hints and tips:

We used cheddar cheese infused with truffle for the cheese sauce because it was available. If you find a similar flavoured cheddar, give it a try!

For the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan until bubbling, add the flour and stir over low heat. Cook for 30 seconds and gradually whisk in the milk, stirring well after each addition. You should have a smooth consistency. Once combined, turn the heat up to medium – high and stir frequently until sauce comes to the boil and thickens. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer uncovered, for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add cheese, pepper and enough salt to suit your taste.

In a small saucepan over low heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the crushed garlic. Saute for half a minute and add the tinned tomatoes, oregano and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, covered for 10 minutes and set aside.

Pick and wash the spinach leaves, heat a large, non stick  fry pan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add spinach leaves turning with tongs until just wilted. Set aside to cool, then squeeze out excess water with your hands and chop roughly.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil and sear the pumpkin slices on both sides, remove and repeat with the zucchini. Remove zucchini and saute the mushrooms and leek together, season the mushroom mixture with salt and pepper and set aside.

To assemble, grease a deep rectangular baking dish approximately 23cm x 30cm (9 inch x 12 inch) and line base with lasagna sheets. Layer the pumpkin over the pasta and season with salt and pepper, followed by the zucchini, half the tomato sauce and half the cheese sauce.

Place another layer of lasagna sheets, layer the mushroom and leek, followed by the spinach, remaining tomato sauce and cheese sauce. Finish with a final layer of lasagna sheets, sprinkle with grated cheeses and drizzle the cream over the cheeses.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C (355F) for 35 minutes until golden and pasta is cooked through.

To serve, spread a generous tablespoon of pesto on a plate and place a slice of lasagna on top.

Note: If you have time it’s well worth the effort to make the pesto. If not, a good store bought one will still be good, or place some fresh chopped basil leaves between the layers.