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Vegetarian winter lasagne

If your vegan friends accept eating egg based pasta and a little parmesan, this may also work for them. Like all versions of lasagne, this can be made hours before serving (but do not place it in the fridge when waiting). It does keep well in the fridge for days afterwards, but the bechamel sauce thickens a little too much when you do that, so I don't do it the day before a dinner party, preferring to make it the same day.


Ingredients (serves 6-8):

  • 300 gr Lasagne sheets: buy them in boxes from Rummo, De Cecco, Agnesi, Barilla (this is my brands order of preference). Make sure they do not need separate pre-cooking (most of them do not)

  • 160gr of finely grated Parmesan cheese

  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped for the spinach

  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped for the courgettes

  • 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes

  • 700gr frozen spinach

  • 2 leeks (620gr once cleaned)

  • 2 courgettes (470gr once cleaned)

  • 200 gr plant based margarine

  • 200 gr flour (cream flour, not self raising)

  • 2 litres of vegetable broth

  • Some olive oil

  • Some vegetable oil

Method:

  • Stir fry the 3 chopped garlic cloves in 1 slug of olive oil in a large pan

  • Add the frozen spinach and reduce the heat to medium, cover with a lid

  • Let it defrost and cook, stirring frequently

  • Once the spinach has defrosted, you'll see that there is a lot of liquid in the pan, so remove the lid and let it continue to cook, stirring it every now and then, until all the liquid has been absorbed

  • Remove the ends of the leeks, and cut them in half length wise

  • Wash them well, holding the white part with one hand and getting the water through the leaves, as leeks will harbour mud among them

  • Slice the leeks halves, then stir fry them in a large pan with a slug of vegetable oil and a splash of water

  • Keep the lid on the pan, add just enough water through cooking, until they are ready


  • Remove the ends of the courgettes and wash them well

  • Cut them length wise, then in slices

  • Stir fry the 2 chopped garlic cloves with the chili flakes in 2 slugs of olive oil in a large pan

  • Add the courgettes and a splash of water and stir fry them keeping the lid on the pan, add just enough water through cooking, until they are ready

  • Make the bechamel sauce as described here

  • Preheat the oven at 200 degrees C

  • Select a large baking tray with tall sides, then brush bottom and sides with olive oil

  • Put a thin layer of bechamel sauce on the bottom, covering it all

  • Spread evenly the spinach

  • Add another layer of bechamel sauce

  • Lay down your pasta sheets in a single layer, do not leave gaps but rather fill them with pieces of pasta sheets cut to measure

  • Add the leeks in an even layer

  • Add another layer of bechamel sauce

  • Add another layer of pasta sheets

  • Spread the courgettes evenly

  • Add another layer of bechamel sauce, this layer of sauce can be thicker

  • Sprinkle with the parmesan

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20mins

TIP: wait at least 10 mins before cutting it, in this way the slices will remain layered and won't spread out


TIP: if you are making this in advance with the intention of freezing it (it freezes quite well), once at room temperature, and if you have space in the fridge, put in the full tray for at least 2 hours. This will allow you to cut out your single portions very easily. Store them in bags, separating a portion from another with some baking paper.

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