It’s great to have something hearty for supper in the winter time to warm your cockles! Casseroles, roast dinners, stews and big chunky soups spring to mind. I always assume meat will be used for a dish of this ilk but despite not being a veggie I’m rather fond of meat free food and I make a vegetarian lasagne which ticks all the boxes and is meaty in substance if not ingredients!
My Roasted Red Pepper, Sweet Potato and Spinach Lasagne is a tried and tested dish in this house having gone through many transformations to meet the standard that it hits today. It may be my own dish and a creation which I shouldn’t boast about for modesty but I’m afraid it really is good so here I go, boasting away! The trick to any lasagne, for me, is to get the béchamel sauce just right and the one I use here is thick, creamy and full of nutmeg, not just a hint but a whole nut’s worth, it’s then used in great supply!
I hope you like this dish just as much as we do!
Roasted Red Pepper, Sweet Potato and Spinach Lasagne!
3 Cloves of Garlic (roughly chopped)
2 Red Onions (roughly chopped)
3 Medium Sized Sweet Potatoes (peeled and roughly chopped)
3 Red Peppers (roughly chopped)
A Bag of Spinach
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
1 Can of Tomato Puree
1 Carton of Passata
A Packet of Dried Egg Lasagne
1ltr of Whole Milk
100g of Salted Butter
100g of Plain Flour
A Handful of Freshly Grated Hard Italian Cheese
A Handful of Pine Nuts
Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Bay Leaves
A Glug of Balsamic Vinegar
A Spoonful of Dried Mixed Herbs
1 Whole Nutmeg (finely grated)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Put the sweet potato, onions, garlic and red pepper in a casserole dish, generously oil and season before roasting in the oven at 200c for half an hour.
Remove the pan from the oven and transfer it to the stove. Add the chopped tomatoes, passata and tomato puree as well as the bay leaves, mixed herbs and a glug of balsamic vinegar then simmer for another half an hour occasionally mashing down the mixture roughly with a spoon so that the potatoes are slightly mashed.
While the vegetable mixture is simmering make the roux for the béchamel sauce by melting the butter in a heavy based saucepan and adding the flour while mixing with a wooden spoon until it forms a paste. Slowly add the milk one glug at a time stirring continuously so that lumps do not form and only adding the next glug of milk once the last has been incorporated into the roux. Add the grated nutmeg once all the milk has been added.
Olive oil the base of your lasagne dish and add the first layer of lasagne sheets. On top of the lasagne sheets add a layer of vegetable mixture followed by a generous topping of fresh spinach (I don’t wilt the spinach but add it in fresh) and then a thick layer of bechemal sauce. Repeat the layers and finish with one more layer of lasagne sheets.
Pour another generous helping of the bechemal sauce on the top of the lasagne then cover with the grated hard Italian cheese, mozzarella and finally the pine nuts.
The Lasagne can now be frozen or cooked at this point!
Bake in the oven on 200c for 45 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes if cooking from frozen but adjust this depending on size of lasagne) and you’re done.
I like to serve my lasagne with green beans or if I’m feeling particularly devilish then some warm crusty bread. This recipe does make rather a lot so we often make one medium sized lasagne, one small individual for Daddy sized lasagne and a few mini individual portions to freeze so that I can do a lazy tea at some point!
Mini frozen lasagnes in ramekins are great for a quick but healthy tea!
This blog post is an entry into the Co-operative Electrical competition with Tots 100.