Some recipes are more special than others. The one I am sharing today means a lot to me. Soon after I gave birth to Wriggly, my dear friend Cé came for a visit. She brought the best present you could give a sleep-deprived mum: lunch and dinner! She had made a small vegetarian lasagne for our lunch, and a big one for my whole family that evening. All I had to do was put the lasagne in the oven… I had a delicious homemade dinner that involved no effort whatsoever on my part!
This vegetarian lasagne is without the shadow of a doubt the best veggie dish I have ever tasted. That makes it the perfect recipe to share on National Vegetarian Week. It is visually pleasing, bursting with flavours, healthy, quick and cheap to make.
Cé shared her recipe with me a few months ago. She had found it in a magazine and torn it ages before. It was all faded, stained after years of use. If that is not the sign of a good recipe, what is? She thinks the recipe is by Jamie Oliver.
I absolutely love this dish and I have cooked it five or six times already. I made changes to the original recipe and rewritten it my way.
The result is creamy yet fresh, full of flavours, with a slight crunch from the courgettes. It is heavenly!
Add a glass of wine and I am in heaven.
The Best & Simplest Vegetarian Lasagne Recipe Ever!
- 1 aubergine approximately 300g
- 3 courgettes about 400g
- Rapeseed oil
- 5 cloves garlic
- 4 basil stalks leaves pinched and rinsed
- 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1 heaped teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
- Fleur de sel de Guérande or Maldon Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 packet of fresh lasagne sheets 250g, or ‘free from’ lasagne sheets for a wheat and egg-free version
- 4 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
Preheat your oven to gas mark 5 (190 degrees Celcius / 375 degrees Fahrenheit).
Prep your vegetables. Wash them and keep their skin on. Slice the aubergines (0.5cm thick).
Cut the courgettes lengthwise into thin rectangular slices.
Chop the basil stalks (not the leaves) as finely as you can. Peel and crush the garlic.
Fry the aubergines in a single layer in a little rapeseed oil over a medium heat. It will take a couple of minutes for each side to get them golden brown. Keep cooked slices on a plate and continue batch cooking the aubergine rounds until they are all done.
Add another tablespoon of rapeseed oil to the pan. Fry the basil stalks and garlic for a minute, stirring constantly. Add the aubergines, tinned tomatoes, sugar, herbs, balsamic vinegar and season to taste. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes, covered.
At the bottom of an ovenproof dish (17 x 26 cm / 7x10 inches), spread a third of the tomato sauce and sprinkle one tablespoon grated parmesan. Lay a lasagne sheet over the sauce and add a third of the courgette slices. Repeat twice, until all the tomato sauce has been used.
Mix the crème fraîche with the remaining grated Parmesan and season to taste. Spread over the last lasagne sheet, drizzle with olive oil, add the remaining courgette slices and basil leaves on top.
Place in the warm oven for 35 minutes. Check on the lasagne after 20 minutes. If it looks like it is browning too quickly, cover it with foil.
Serve with salad and balsamic vinegar dressing.
What sort of recipes would like me to share next?