Vegetable lasagne

So, along with marianne’s handwritten soda bread recipe were a couple of recipes Chris had written out for me, presumably at some point when I was heading back to France. It kind of shows up how terrible I was at cooking, because the first recipe is for spaghetti bolognese, which I make all the time nowadays and never use a recipe for. It was not long after the incident where I was making a curry for Chris from a jar of sauce, thought I’d burnt it and tried to put it in the bin and get pizza (it was fine, the spices made it look black, d’oh!)

As with the previous recipe, I’m just going to copy this up word for word, because it’s years since I last cooked it. It is totally delicious, but because the layers are all different it does take a while to make. The recipe came from Chris’s ex-girlfriend, who only are about 4 meals of which this was one. But it is a very good one, so that’s a relatively good legacy really! Incidentally, a few years ago, when my sister wanted to start cooking a bit more, we gave her this recipe for Christmas, along with the lasagne dish and necessary spices. She couldn’t be bothered with all the layering so just mixed it all on together. Not quite sure how she mean, but she said it tasted good!

A non-linear recipe for veg lasagne (by Chris)

pea layer
Cook some peas (enough to cover the bottom of your lasagne dish)
Melt a bit of butter/marg in a frying pan
Put the peas in and push the, around till they are covered in butter
Add flour until they look really manly
Add more butter/flour until it looks right

spinach layer
Wash a bag of spinach/ baby spinach. It will be about 30cm square. Don’t worry. It will wilt down when you boil it
Take off all e stems. This takes about 40 hours if you do it properly so don’t
Boil some water and cook e spinach. You will probably have to do this in batches. Worry not.
Add some creme fraiche

other layer
Suggestions: Aubergine/ mushrooms/ courgettes/ peppers and onions/ a mixture of 2 or more of the above

Fry whatever it is that you are putting in this layer with a bit of Tabasco/ Worcester sauce/ whatever to make it a bit tastier

You now have your layers

tomato sauce
2 tins of tomatoes
Onion
Red pepper
Oxo cubes
Tomato purée
Sugar
Tabasco
Lemon juice
Salt/ pepper
Oregano
Basil
Worcester sauce

Make the tomato sauce by bunging all the ingredients in a big pot. Think spaghetti bolognese without the mince: brown the onion/ pepper first then leave to boil for a good 2 hours as you’re doing the rest of it

lasagne
Rob always says the secret of his lasagne is to pre-boil the lasagne sheets. I say not, because I prefer them to absorb the tomato sauce/ creme fraiche and not just water. But follow whoever’s advice you prefer

layering
I prefer:
Cheese
Tomato sauce
Lasagne
Creme fraiche
Spinach
Lasagne
Mushrooms or similar
Tomato sauce
Lasagne
Creme fraiche
Peas

Actually I’m not sure that’s right… Do what you like. Remember to have something moist next to the lasagnes

how to cook it
Start the tomato sauce straight away. Then do the other stuff in whatever order you like.
Be prepared for a few hours cooking!!!

juliet’s notes
This lasagne is lovely, but Chris’s recipe is more complex than it needs to be! Here are my additions!
For the pea layer, I reckon a heaped tablespoon of flour will be fine
For the spinach layer I reckon you’d be better to use frozen spinach nowadays. You could just cook it in the creme fraiche I think.
I never pre-boil lasagne sheets, for the same reasons Chris gives
Make your tomato sauce however you like. If you’re short of time add more sugar. If you’re really short of time but a bit richer buy ready made!
Chris’s layers are weird. I’d do filling, tomato sauce, lasagne, creme fraiche all the way up finishing with lots of cheese

I’m going to make this next week, so will re-blog what I actually do then!

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