This lasagne is packed full of vegetables, I’ve literally stuffed in as many as I could. The ragu is made of vegetables, most of the pasta layers are actually vegetables. The bechamel sauce is actually vegetables. All the vegetables. You can feel really high and mighty about this one.
But don’t, I mean pat yourself on the back for getting in a whole lot of veg serves in your day, but eating isn’t a competition. Well probably not for you anyway. Eating well doesn’t make you better than anyone else, it just makes your body happy. And therefor hopefully you happy. But I digress. Back to the pasta.
Sort of, there’s actually not that much pasta in this. It serves 8-10 people and there’s just 4 lasagne sheets and they’re just there to provide a solid foundation, you could skip them altogether and make this grain/gluten free if that’s what you’re all about. Instead I’ve used layers of pumpkin and zucchini. Be sure to cut them thinly so that they cook and soak up all that delicious flavour from the ragu. If you read this blog regularly you’ll be familiar with both the ragu and cauliflower sauce recipes. I’ve adapted them slightly here but they’re basically the same. And so good together.
The secret to making something with an ingredient list this long easy to make is to be methodical and prep each section of the recipe before you start it. So for the ragu, cut up everything (or at least the eggplant, then cut the other vegetables while the eggplant is roasting). Once you’ve done everything you can for the ragu. Move on to prepping the cauliflower sauce. Once all your sauces are ready move on to slicing the vegetables for assembly. Doing it this way will mean less stress and more fun in the kitchen. This is also an excellent meal to make ahead, or to use for batch cooking. it makes HEAPS and once cooled is really easy to cut super neatly. It also freezes well so you could freeze in portions for a quick and easy work lunch another day or week.
4 medium eggplants, cut into a 1-2cm dice
1 Tbs dried chilli flakes (use less if ou’re not a chilli fan)
1 Tbs dried oregano
3 garlic cloves , skin on
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs olive oil
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 small carrot, finely diced
1/2 cup dry white wine (can leave out if you don’t have on hand)
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes (organic BPA Free)
2 cups tomato pasata
1/4 cup water
1 cup shredded kale
500ml stock (vegetable or chicken)
100g parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 Tbs ricotta
4 lasange sheets
1 cup fresh basil leaves
4 zuchinnis, sliced lenghtways into 2-3mm thick slices
500g pumpkin, skin and seeds removed cut into 2mm thick slices
2 Tbs grated parmesan
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the eggplant, chilli flakes, oregano and salt. Toss to coat the eggplant, drizzle over 1 Tbs olive oil and toss again. Spread in a single layer on your baking tray, add garlic cloves and roast for 35 minutes or until eggplant is soft and beginning to colour.
Remove eggplant from the oven. Put aside 2 cups of it and then transfer the rest to a blender, squeeze the garlic cloves from their skin into the blender. Add 1/3 the passata and all the water. Pulse until the egg plant is broken up and amalgamated with the tomato but not a completely smooth puree.
Meanwhile put a medium sized sauce pan on medium heat and add the remaining olive oil. Once hot add the celery and carrot and cook until sot, you may need to add some water if it gets dry. Add the wine and cook until it’s reduced by half, this should happen fairly quickly. Add the eggplant and tomato mixture along with the remaining passata and the canned tomatoes. Stir to combine, turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Stir through kale. Set aside.
Break cauliflower into florets and chop up the stalk, place in a pot with the stock and add water until cauliflower is just covered. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is very tender. Drain reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Place in a food processor with other ingredients and reserved cooking liquid and puree until smooth. Season. Set aside.
Grease a large oven proof dish 20x 50 cm. Lay the lasange sheets in a single layer on the bottom. Top with half of the ragu, spinrkly over half the basil, follow with a layer of half the pumpkin, then 1/3 of the cauliflower sauce, then 1/2 the zucchini. Top the zucchini with the remaining ragu, the remaining basil, then the remaining pumpkin, 1/3 of the cauliflower sauce, followed by the remaining zucchini. Finish with a final layer of the cauliflower sauce, sprinkle over parmesan cheese.
Cover in foil, bake in a 180 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for a further 30 minutes.
Slice and serve.