I love having friends over. Not only to socialise and catch up but because it gives me a chance to try another recipe from my massive and ever-growing ‘to try’ list. I make new recipes for the two of us all the time but having a few people means you can go all out. This recipe isn’t really an all-out example but it makes a great light lunch or dinner and is pretty simple to make. It’s a Michelle Bridges recipe so it’s also low in calories and packed full of vegetable goodness.
There are lots of veges in this lasagna. You’ll definitely be getting your daily dose.
I met with a few little disasters during this recipe unfortunately. The first step is to steam all the vegetables individually until they soften. I don’t have a steamer big enough for everything so I came up with the genius idea of placing my plastic colander over a pot of boiling water and covering it. I have done it several times with success but never over the big burner. After a few minutes there was a chemical smell lingering in the kitchen which I discovered was the poor colander melting. After reading an article on the dangers of plastic I had to throw all the eggplant out. Better to leave it out than poison us.
I steamed the rest of the vegetables in my rice cooker in the microwave. When the spinach is soft, chop it up roughly. I would probably use baby spinach for this next time for two reasons. Firstly, you don’t have to chop it up and less effort = happy Claire. Secondly, my green grocer only sold big spinach in bundles of 3 bunches which was way more than I needed or cared to consume.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, herbs, half the parmesan, garlic and spinach until they are reasonably smooth.
You can use a real lasagna dish but I took the lazy route because I had a tin dish in the cupboard. Make sure you use the proper size though. I didn’t really pay attention to the measurement and mine was way too small. It was actually a good thing I couldn’t use the eggplant as it wouldn’t have fitted. Spread the bottom of the dish with 1/4 of the ricotta mixture.
Top the ricotta mixture with lasagna sheets and then cover the lasagna sheet with half of the vegetables then cover that with another lasagna sheet and another 1/4 of the ricotta mixture and the rest of the vegetables. Finish it off with the last lasagna sheet and the rest of the ricotta mixture. I used dry sheets for mine but the recipe used fresh sheets. I think fresh would probably be better.
Gently pour the stock over the dish. I poured it down the side of a corner so it didn’t wash away the ricotta. Sprinkle the lasagna with parmesan.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in a 190C fan-forced oven for 30 minutes or until a knife easily goes through the lasagna to the base (don’t pierce the bottom if you’re using a foil tin!).
I sprinkled a little more cheese on the lasagna then returned it to the oven, with the grill turned on, for another 5 minutes until it was brown on top.
Serve the lasagna with whatever you like. I was very exciting (note the sarcasm) and served it with some fresh rocket leaves. Enjoy!
- 1 large eggplant, cut into 3cm cubes
- 3 medium zucchini, cut into large cubes
- 1 bunch of English Spinach, trimmed (could also use baby spinach)
- 2 cups low-fat ricotta
- 1 cup, freshly chopped parsley
- ½ cup freshly chopped basil (you could use dried herbs just use about 1tbsp to a cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed (I used garlic from a jar)
- 50g (2oz) grated parmesan
- 100g (4oz) mushrooms
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large fresh lasagna sheets (I used 6 dried sheets)
- ½ cup salt-reduced chicken stock
- salad leaves to serve
- Preheat the oven to 190C(374F) fan-forced.
- Lightly grease a 32cm x 20cm baking dish or use a disposable foil dish.
- Steam the eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms and spinach individually until they are all tender. This is easiest in the microwave.
- Chop the spinach up roughly.
- In a bowl, combine the ricotta, herbs, spinach, garlic and half of the grated parmesan and season it to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spread ¼ of this mixture in the bottom of the baking dish then place a lasagna sheet over the top of it.
- Cover the lasagna sheet with half of the vegetables then cover that with another lasagna sheet and another ¼ of the ricotta mixture and the rest of the vegetables. Finish it off with the last lasagna sheet and the rest of the ricotta mixture.
- Pour the stock over the top of the lasagna and sprinkle it with the rest of the parmesan cheese.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake it for 30 minutes or until a knife goes through the lasagna easily.
- Sprinkle the lasagna with a little extra cheese if you wish and place the uncovered lasagna under the grill for a few minutes until the top browns.
- Serve the lasagna with salad leaves.