Monday, 3 October 2011

Meatless Monday - Roast Vegetable Lasagna

We love roast vegetables in our house, and I must confess, I am almost evangelical about how useful they can be. They are so easy to make, and a fantastic thing to have on hand. You can create so many delicious and satisfying dishes from them, not least of all this wonderful lasagna. I posted about my Autumnal Roast Vegetables last week, and you can read all about how to prepare them by clicking here.
I use fresh lasagna sheets for my Roast Vegetable Lasagna, partly because I am lazy and partly because I am impatient. If you would rather use dried pasta that you cook in advance that is absolutely fine. Just cook and drain the lasagna sheets before you start layering. If, however, you use the dried ‘no need to pre-cook’ sheets, bear in mind that the dish may take slightly longer to cook as you are also cooking and softening the pasta, and you may need a bit of extra sauce to make the lasagna sheets tender. The beauty of making lasagna with fresh pasta is that it is incredibly easy to put together, particularly if you already have roast vegetables on hand in the fridge as I usually do.
This recipe serves three to four people but you can easily double it. When I do that I generally cook it in two pans so that it cooks more quickly. If you use a larger pan it will take longer to cook.
10 ounces of fresh lasagna sheets (about 10 to 12 sheets)
2 teaspoons mild vegetable oil (I use olive)
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2½ cups of plain tomato sauce or passata (sieved tomatoes - organic if possible. If you are using dried ‘no need to pre-cook’ lasagna sheets you may find you need a bit more.)
⅓ cup basil pesto
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 to 3 cups roast vegetables
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups grated vegetarian mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 375℉ (190℃ or 170℃ for a fan oven).
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently sauté the onion until it begins to soften. Stir in the tomato sauce and pesto and heat through. Add the oregano and roast vegetables and simmer over low heat for ten minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste if necessary.
In a large deep rectangular dish, layer the lasagna, starting with about a third of the pasta, followed by a third of the vegetable and bean sauce, followed by a third of the cheese. Repeat until the three quarters full, being sure to finish with a layer of cheese. 
Place the dish on a baking sheet (in case it bubbles over a bit) and bake for 30 to 45 minutes until the cheesy top is golden brown and the lasagna feels tender when prodded with a fork. Remove from the oven and let it rest for about five minutes before cutting and serving with garlic bread and / or a salad.


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