I love lasagne (now that I am not offered it every time I eat out as in the 1980’s) because you can mix and match different vegetables and cheeses depending on what you like or what you have left over in the fridge. This recipe is my favourite combination – a spinach and mushroom love-in!
I usually make this dish on Sunday because it takes quite a bit of time to prepare and I can re-heat it for dinner on Monday or freeze it. Serving the lasagne with a large helping of salad balances out the fat content but it’s also very tasty with a small portion low fat, crinkle cut oven chips.
- Olive oil
- 1 medium to large onion
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 450g/16oz chestnut mushrooms
- 450g/16oz fresh spinach
- Small tin sliced black olives
- 8-10 lasagne sheets – verdi if you can get it
- 25-50g/1-2oz pine nuts (optional)
- 125g/4-5oz soft cheese e.g. Cheshire or low fat mozzarella
For the Béchamel pesto sauce
- 50g/20z butter or margarine
- 40g/1.5oz plain flour
- 600ml/20 fl oz semi-skimmed milk
- 2 tablespoons pesto sauce
How to Cook
- Finely chop the onions whilst you heat up the oil in a large pan.
- Whilst the onions are gently cooking, clean and slice the mushrooms.
- Add the garlic when the onions are quite soft, so that it doesn’t burn, followed by the mushrooms.
- Give the spinach a good wash and put it in a separate large pan to wilt – this will only take about 5-10 minutes so keep an eye on it. When it’s cooked, drain and chop.
- Drain the excess liquid from the mushroom mixture and tinned olives, then combine this with the spinach and give it all a good stir.
- Next make the Béchamel pesto sauce. Melt the butter or margarine in a pan, then stir in the flour and cook gently for a few minutes, stirring all the time – you should now have a thick paste, that forms into a soft ball.
- Remove from the heat and add the milk a little at a time, stirring well after each addition until the milk is fully absorbed. When the sauce is more liquid than paste, it is safe to add the remainder of the milk.
- Return to the heat and stir constantly whilst gently heating until it is thick and glossy. Don’t be tempted to leave it or it will go lumpy.
- Remove from the heat and stir in one to two tablespoons of pesto sauce.
Assembling the lasagne
- Pour a little of the sauce into the base of your dish, then layer enough sheets to cover the base – break up the lasagne sheets to fit odd spaces.
- Next add about half the mushroom and spinach mixture, sprinkle on some pine nuts and about a third of the cheese.
- Add another layer of lasagne, half the pesto sauce, and the rest of the spinach mixture, a few more pine nuts and a bit more cheese.
- Top with another layer of lasagne sheets, the rest of the pesto sauce, pine nuts and cheese.
- Cover the dish with tin foil and bake at 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6 for about 25-30 minutes, then take off the foil and bake for another 10 minutes so that the top is brown and crispy.