Spinach and tomato lasagne

Serve up a deliciously hearty meal with Valentina Harris's tasty vegetarian version of a classic Italian pasta dish
By Valentina Harris
Spinach and tomato lasagne
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

main

  • black pepper
  • 400 g lasagne sheets
  • 1 kg fresh spinach
  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 500 ml milk
  • 250 g fresh mozzarella, chopped into small cubes
  • 2 clove garlic, chopped
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 ml tomato passata
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 150 g parmesan, grated

Method

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the lasagne sheets 4 or 5 at a time, making sure they don't stick together. Remove them from the boiling water as soon as they are tender and lay them on damp, clean tea cloths without overlapping them until required.

2. Rinse the spinach if using fresh. Place the spinach in a saucepan, cover and cook until wilted, a matter or minutes. Drain thoroughly, cool and squeeze dry.

3. Make a white sauce by melting the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Once foaming, stir in the flour and cook gently for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.

4. Add in the milk and stir vigorously to prevent lumps forming.

5. Cook the sauce gently, stirring often, until thickened and with no flavour of raw flour. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and set aside.

6. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add in the garlic and fry gently for about 5 minutes, then stir in the passata.

7. Simmer for about 15 minutes, mix in the parsley and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

8. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

9. Brush the sides and the bottom of a shallow ovenproof dish with the melted butter.

10. Pour a little béchamel sauce across the bottom of the dish and arrange a layer of lasagne sheets on top, slightly overlapping.

11. Scatter over some spinach, some mozzarella and some grated Parmesan. Cover with a layer of tomato sauce, then top with another layer of lasagne sheets.

12. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients have been used up, ending with a layer of white sauce over the tomato sauce, creating a pink marbled effect.

13. Bake for about 45 minutes until bubbling hot and lightly browned on top.

14. Serve hot from the oven.

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