I’m still trying to figure out how a load of vegetables and a little bit of cheese can taste fantastic and be so easy to make. Some artsy layering, a rich tasting but good-for-you tomato base and none of the additives of a store bought pasta dish, this lasagna hits the spot now that autumn has rolled in. I gained this recipe when I was undertaking my dissertation fieldwork in South Africa in 2014 and have adapted it to include my favourite veggies. During those 6 weeks away we took it in turns to cook…for 27 very hungry ecologists. For a group of twenty somethings this was a hefty ask, but some staple, tasty recipes fuelled our 5am starts and long days in the field. I’ve been a bit (lot) slow with the posting recently due to one thing or another (mainly work and not coordinating my shopping trips!) but catching up with a friend from SA inspired this tasty, hearty vegetarian dinner.
Emily’s Vegetarian Lasagna
- 1 medium aubergine
- 150g mushrooms
- 150g spinach, fresh or frozen
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- chilli flakes
- dash of balsamic vinegar
- 100ml milk
- herbs (fresh basil and thyme)
- grated mozzarella
- 6 lasagna sheets
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400ºF/gas 6. Prep the veggies first. Dice the mushrooms and onion thinly and set aside. Slice the whole aubergine into thin rounds and use half to line a medium roasting or casserole dish.
In a small saucepan heat the chopped tomatoes over a medium flame. Add the onion, mushroom, garlic, thyme and chilli and cook for around 10 minutes until the onion is softened.
At this point add the balsamic vinegar and most of the basil leaves and simmer for around 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
Spread a layer of sauce over the aubergine then spread over a layer of lasagna sheets. Next add a layer of fresh or defrosted spinach, followed by a layer of aubergine and a further layer of sauce then pasta sheets. Add the last of the sauce then top with plenty of cheese, a scattering of basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
Place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until bubbling and golden.