Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Vegetable and Ricotta Lasagne

This has become one of veggie daughter's favourites. It was first cooked for us by my mum, who found the original recipe on the BBC Good Food website here:

Stir fried leeks
It is a very simple recipe, particularly if you have a food processor to grate the veg, which goes into the lasagne raw. Whilst the original recipe is delicious, I felt it lacked a bit of oomph and as is my wont, I added some extra ingredients to jazz it up a bit: stir fried leeks, a dollop of Patak's curry paste, some garlic and some chopped herbs (coriander and basil). I used passata with added chili too. I also mixed up the vegetable combination a bit, based on what I had in the fridge (swede, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip and a courgette). Even though veggie daughter and I are not big parsnip fans, I did leave the parsnip in, and it didn't spoil it. Perhaps parsnip is growing on me... Veggie daughter says she still prefers the original recipe, but I like the spicier version.

Vegetable and Ricotta Lasagne

(I guess on quantities - depends on how many I'm feeding. This made a lot, enough for 5 hungry people and enough to put a second lasagne in the freezer for another day)
For the vegetable layer:
2 or 3 large leeks, sliced
mixture of vegetables, grated (I used two large carrots, two large parsnips, half a swede, a large sweet potato, a large courgette)
chopped coriander and basil to taste
2 cartons of passata (I used Napolina with peppers and chilis)
1 tbsp Pataks curry paste (I used madras)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and freshly ground pepper

For the cheesy layer:
250g ricotta
250g creme fraiche
2 beaten eggs

lasagne sheets

grated cheese (Parmesan or vegetarian hard cheese and cheddar or similar mixed together)

1. Stir fry the leeks in some olive oil until soft.
2. Mix together the grated vegetables (use a food processor to grate them unless you have a lot of stamina) and the leeks.
3. Mix in the passata, garlic, curry paste and chopped herbs and season well.
The veggie mixture
4. Mix together the creme fraiche, ricotta, beaten eggs and some grated cheese (quantity depends on how cheesy your diners like their fare).
5. Assemble the lasagne, starting with a layer of vegetables, then lasagne, then cheese sauce, repeating these layers at least once more and ending with a layer of the cheese sauce.

Layer the veggies, cheese mixture and lasagne sheets
5. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top.
Top with grated cheese - a mixture of vegetarian hard cheese and red leicester here - and you're ready to bake it
6. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven at around 200 degrees C for half an hour, then remove the top and let it brown up for about another 20 minutes, until the pasta is cooked and the top is golden. Serve with a salad.