As an avid meat lover, to be truthful when I am eating a vegetarian dish I often think to myself “it’s good, but it would be even better with a bit of bacon”. This lasagna recipe which my friend Clare gave to me after much begging is the recipe that changed that thinking. This recipe is amazing. It is perfect in itself and would not be any better with bacon or in fact any kind of meat. This is not a recipe where the vegetables substitute for meat, it is a recipe where the vegetables shine in their own right. Cook this and I promise people will forget that what they are eating is vegetarian. Even MTV boyfriend who as you know prefers his meals to contain meat and three vegetables is a fan.
1 packet of fresh lasagna sheets
1 can of tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
250g ricotta cheese
1 butternut squash cut into thin slices
50g pine nuts
250g mushrooms sliced
100g tasty cheese grated
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Scatter squash on a baking tray, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper then bake for 20 mins or until you can put a fork through it.
2. Wash the spinach and then cook in a saucepan full of water for 10 mins or until you can put a fork through it. Drain the spinach making sure to remove any excess liquid.
3. Toast pinenuts in a frying pan with a splash of olive oil until they start to brown then set aside on kitchen paper.
4. Saute the mushrooms in the same pan until lightly brown.
5. Mix the tomato paste with the can of tomatoes to combine.
6. Lightly grease a baking dish and then cover the base with a thin layer of the tomato mixture.
7. Add one layer of pasta to the dish, cover with a thin layer of ricotta and then a thin layer of tomato mixture.
8. Add the baked squash scattered with the toasted pinenuts.
9. Repeat step 7 then add one layer of mushrooms.
10. Repeat step 7 then add one layer of spinach
11. Repeat step 7 and then top with the grated cheese.
12. Cook at 180 degrees for 40 mins or until the cheese on top is golden and the lasagna is bubbling.
If you liked this you may also like this recipe for fennel, tomato and crumble gratin which is also vegetarian.