This has been a favourite in my family for years. My grandchildren when they were tiny babies used to have this blitzed into a puree. Children love it – it is easy, thrifty and really tasty. When I have a glut of courgettes, tomatoes and peppers – I make stacks of vegetable filling, freeze it then produce a very quick lasagne when necessary.
This quantity will make one large lasagne and my dish measures 30cm x 20cm x 6cm deep. Alternatively for two family meals, make one now and freeze the other – my family dishes measure 23cm x 15cm x 6cm deep.
You will need a large casserole pan and start by heating the oil then frying the onions until they are softened but not brown. Whilst the onions are cooking take time to prepare all the vegetables. Dice everything small – about ¼ inch dice makes for a much better finished lasagne. When the onions have softened add the chopped garlic and the herbs. Give everything a good stir then add the chopped vegetables.
At this stage I turn the heat up and give the vegetables a quick “stir fry”, coating the edges with a little brown tinge here and there. After five minutes or so drop the heat down to its lowest setting then add the glass of red wine. The wine will fizz and splatter but at the same time will deglaze the bottom of the pan of any burnt on bits – all of this will add to the flavour.
Finally add the passata and seasoning then give a good stir and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes. Take the pan from the heat and leave to cool. Taste the sauce when cooled a little and add more seasoning if required.
To make the sauce:
Place all the ingredients into a medium saucepan then place over a medium heat and with a small hand whisk stir constantly until the sauce thickens. If it starts to go lumpy – take from the heat and whisk quickly. The lumps will soon disappear.
To assemble the lasagne take the dish, which should be lightly greased around the edges. Put a layer of vegetable mixture over the base, then a lasagne sheet, followed by a thicker layer of vegetable mixture and a couple of spoons of the white sauce. Add a further lasagne sheet, more vegetable mix and sauce, a final lasagne sheet then top off with a good layer of sauce, making sure there is no pasta sheet poking through. Top off with the grated mozzarella cheese and a grating of Parmesan (optional).
Chill until you are ready to cook. If you have made two lasagnes – now is the time to fridge one and freeze the other.
Preheat the oven at 200 degrees c and bake for 40 minutes or until the cheese on the top is bubbling and golden. Leave to stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
I serve this lasagne with salad (and a few chips !)
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