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  • Recipe Room  »  Vegetarian lasagne

    4

    Ingredients

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 aubergine, cut into rounds 1cm thick
    • 1 large courgette, cut into slices
    • 250g ball mozzarella, drained
    • 8–10 dry lasagne sheets
    • 2 tablespoons freshly grated vegetarian Parmesan

    For the cheese sauce

    • 30g butter
    • 30g plain flour
    • 550ml organic milk
    • 100g grated Gruyère
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the tomato sauce

    • 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
    • 400g can tomatoes
    • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves

    Vegetarian lasagne

    Vegetable lasagne is a student staple but it can be a whole lot better than that implies. The key is to take a bit of care and follow a decent recipe like this one.

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over a high heat, add the aubergine slices in a single layer and sauté until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the remaining aubergine and the courgette adding more oil to the pan as needed.

    Prepare the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato purée with both the tomatoes and the sugar and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    Cook over a low-medium heat for 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Check the seasoning, add the basil, remove from the heat and cool slightly.

    Prepare the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk to the pan, stirring constantly.

    Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 3–4 minutes stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened, coats the back of a spoon and is smooth and glossy. Remove from the heat and stir in the Gruyère.

    Spoon half of the tomato sauce into the base of a 20 x 30 cm ovenproof dish. Scatter with half of the aubergine and courgettes. Tear half of the mozzarella into pieces and scatter over the vegetables and top with a layer of lasagne sheets. Repeat this layering one more time.

    Spoon the cheese sauce over the final lasagne layer, scatter with grated vegetarian Parmesan and bake for about 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.

    Meat Free Monday Cookbook by Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney, edited by Annie Rigg, published by Kyle Books, RRP $35 click to buy.

    Tips and Tricks

    • An easy way to save eggplants from going to waste is to roast them and then freeze the scooped out flesh in an airtight container. Freeze up to 12 months.

    • Tomatoes also cope well with freezing and can be stored in a labelled resealable plastic bag in your freezer. Bring them out and pop into your next tomato sauce, soup or stew as you needed. They can also be thawed fully on your counter-top or thrown straight into your dish fully frozen.

    • As a general rule, try and buy only so much cheese as you can eat in two sittings. This will reduce the need for long cheese storage and reduce the chance of wastage.

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