Hellooo, best meal ever! Lasagne is pretty much always amazing, but this… this summer vegetable lasagne was quite possibly the best I’ve ever made.
(I swear I say that in every single blog post these days. What can I say, I’m passionate…)
I just can’t get over that crispy cheesy topping. My favourite way to top a casserole or pasta bake these days is with a combination of mozzarella (for stringiness and crispiness) and cheddar (for flavour). The two together seem to give the perfect golden topping that was very, very, very hard to resist when taking these photos.
Then when you crack into the crispy cheese and make your way through all the melty mozzarella, you get to the utterly irresistible creaminess underneath.
Once again: helloooo!
This lasagne has the perfect amount of sauce – gooey and oozey, but not so saucy that it stop you from cutting a nice neat slice (something about a perfectly square slice of lasagne makes me weirdly happy). It also helps if you leave the dish to sit for ten minutes or so after it comes out of the oven, so it can set just a little – as long as you can stop yourself from digging straight in.
The main flavours in this recipe come from the vegetables themselves, of which there are plenty! I tried to use as many colours and textures as I could – soft peppers, crunchy sugarsnap peas, fresh asparagus, sweet corn kernels, earthy mushrooms. They add up to one delicious lasagne, let me tell you.
I know a lot of people avoid making lasagne because it has a bit of a reputation of being a big hassle. And it’s true, it’s not the quickest meal in the world, but considering you can have it in the oven within about half an hour, it’s really not as much of a big deal as people often like to think it is. Actually, the recipe is deceivingly long – I swear it only takes half an hour to prepare. Cook your veg; prepare your sauce; layer. It’s not difficult. And the result is sooooo worth it!
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 100 g asparagus cut into 1/2cm slices
- 50 g sugarsnap peas cut into 1/2cm slices
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 100 g mushrooms cut into 1cm dice
- 125 g cherry tomatoes quartered
- 125 g sweetcorn kernels
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 300 ml milk
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- Black pepper
- 50 g cheddar cheese grated
- 150 g no-boil lasagne sheets
- 100 g mozzarella I actually used a mozzarella / cheddar mix, grated
- 1 large tomato sliced
- Fresh parsley chopped, to serve
Begin by preparing your vegetables. Heat the oil in a frying pan, and add the diced onion, asparagus and sugarsnap peas. Cook over a fairly low heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, and then add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook for a further 5 minutes, until the mushrooms have cooked down and the mixture is fairly dry. Remove from the heat, and add the tomatoes and sweetcorn. Set aside.
Next, make the creamy sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan, and add the flour. Whisking constantly, cook over a very low heat for a minute or two, and then add the milk a little at a time, whisking until smooth each time before adding another dash. Add the nutmeg and plenty of seasoning, along with the grated cheddar. Whisk for one more minute until the cheese has melted into the sauce, and then remove from the heat.
Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
Now you can begin to construct the lasagne. Begin with about a tablespoon of sauce, spread out over the bottom of a baking dish (mine measured around 8 x 6 inches). Add a layer of lasagne sheets, breaking them into pieces so that they cover the bottom of the dish in a single layer.
From here on, it doesn't matter too much how you create your layers, but here's how I made mine: 1/3 of the vegetable mixture; 1/3 of the sauce; layer of lasagne; another 1/3 of the vegetables; another 1/3 of the sauce; another layer of lasagne; remaining vegetables; remaining sauce. Make sure any corners of lasagne are covered in at least a little bit of the sauce to stop them from burning.
Once you've used up all of your vegetables and sauce, top the dish with the grated mozzarella and slices of tomato. Bake for around 40 minutes, or until the cheese is crispy and golden brown and the lasagne is tender. If the cheese is browning too quickly, just cover the dish loosely with foil and return to the oven until the pasta is cooked.
Leave to stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.