Roasted Vegetable Lasagne With Herby White Sauce
Yum! I love this lasagne. It is by far the best vegetable lasagne I have made. The vegetables are roasted so there is no watery sauce floating around at the bottom of the dish. It's also a great way to get some hidden vegetables into your little ones meals.
Admittedly there is a little more faffing involved with this recipe compared to my usual no-fuss recipes (I used about three different pots), so I'd recommend this recipe for a weekend in particular for a hearty Sunday evening meal. It's totally worth the extra washing it creates. Your family will love it! And worst case, after all that hard work, get your hubby and kids to help out with the washing.
Serves a family of four. Total prep and cooking time: 1 hour 45 mins.
- 2 aubergines (eggplants) - washed, pricked all over with fork
- 2 red bell peppers - chopped into large pieces, de-seeded
- 2 courgettes (zucchini) - sliced (1/2 cm in thickness)
- 1 onion - peeled, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 x 400g tin peeled plum tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tbsp tomato puree
- Salt to taste
- 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 whole dried chillies finely chopped or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
- 4 basil leaves - washed, roughly chopped or torn
- Ricotta cheese to taste
- Lasagne/ pasta sheets as required - (blanched in boiling water - optional)
- Cheddar cheese (medium) - grated
- 100g (3 1/2 oz) butter
- 100g (3 1/2 oz) plain flour
- 1 litre (1 3/4 pints) milk
- Salt to taste
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
Preheat the oven to 200C/ 400F/ gas mark 6.
Place the aubergines (eggplant), peppers and courgettes (zucchini) flat on a baking tray (split over two trays if necessary) and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast in the oven on the middle shelf until tender. The aubergines should be caving in and soft to the touch.
Aubergines and red peppers will take approx 40 mins in the oven. The courgettes slightly less - between 25-30 mins.
While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the white sauce. Add the butter to a pan and slowly melt on low heat. Add the flour a little at a time whisking until a paste is formed. Pour in the milk a little at a time and whisk to ensure no lumps form. Allow to simmer on low heat until the sauce thickens - whisking periodically. Once the sauce has thickened, season with the salt, cracked black pepper and mixed herbs. Stir until combined well. Set aside to cool.
Once the vegetables are tender remove from the oven and set aside. After cooling, split the aubergines in half lengthways and scoop out the soft flesh (it helps to chop the flesh up) and set aside. Peel off the red pepper skin too if you wish.
To make the filling, heat a little oil in a frying pan and toss in the onion. Saute until golden then add the garlic, aubergine flesh, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, balsamic vinegar and chillies. Cook until well combined and the sauce has thickened. Then add the basil and the roasted red pepper and courgettes. Combine well.
In an oven-proof dish place a layer of filling along the bottom and place a few balls of ricotta cheese over the top, then layer with lasagne sheets. Repeat until the filling has been used.
Cover the final layer of lasagne sheets with the yummy herby white sauce and sprinkle with a generous amount of Cheddar cheese. Cook in the oven (200C/ 400F/ gas mark 6) for 20-25 mins until the pasta sheet are cooked and the top is bubbling and golden brown. Leave it to sit for 20 mins and top with roughly chopped basil leaves just before serving. Tastes fab with a side salad, garlic bread or even french fries.
You'll most likely have some herby white sauce left over. Pop it in the freezer and it will keep for 2-3 months.
So there you have it. My perfect roasted vegetable lasagne with a herby white sauce. As you can see, it went down a treat in my home. Hope it does in yours too!