Sheets of lasagne layered with a rich tomato sauce, herbed ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan. This lasagne makes a pleasant meat free change.
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 x 400g tins pomodorini cherry tomatoes
- 1tbsp tomato purée
- 1tsp caster sugar
- 3 sprigs parsley
- 250g (9oz) ricotta cheese
- 2tbsp basil, chopped
- 2tbsp flat-leaf parsley
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 350g (12oz) spinach, washed
- a little grated nutmeg
- 250g (9oz) lasagne sheets (we like De cecco Lasagne all'uova)
- 2 x 210g balls mozzarella (150g drained weight), cut into small cubes
- 75g (3oz) Parmesan, grated
- a baking dish 25.5x15x5cm (10x6x2in)
If you have a glut of tomatoes and want to use them for the sauce, then replace the tinned tomatoes with 8 large tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped.
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and gently sweat the onion for 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, caster sugar and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and cook on a gentle heat, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until thick and well reduced.
To make the filling, place the ricotta in a sieve and leave to drain for 10 minutes, then place in a bowl, add the basil and parsley, and season generously with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the spinach, and season with a little salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cover the pan and allow the spinach to wilt, stirring occasionally. Tip the spinach into a colander and leave to drain. When cool, squeeze as much excess moisture from the spinach and roughly chop. Set aside.
Heat oven to 180C, 160C fan, 350F, gas 4. To assemble the lasagne, put a thin layer of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish. Cover with a sheet of pasta and spread with tomato sauce. Place a third of the spinach over the sauce and sprinkle with a little mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover with another sheet of pasta. Put half the ricotta mixture on this layer. Repeat with a layer of pasta, tomato sauce, spinach, mozzarella and Parmesan, then another layer of pasta, topped with the remaining ricotta. Make one more layer of pasta, tomato sauce, spinach, mozzarella and Parmesan, and end with a top layer of pasta, tomato sauce and Parmesan. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes or until piping hot and the top is crusty and golden. Remove from the oven, leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.