Yikes. It has been a full on day today, busy busy busy! I am very much feeling the need to pile some carbs into my exhausted little system, so I’m going for a big hit of pasta and cheese with a lasagne.
This one is a bit of a variation on a theme though…rather than meat, we’re going with mushrooms! Well. Why not, eh? Mushrooms are generally meaty in texture (sort of) and are pretty satisfying!
Lasagne with a Mushroom, Spinach and Pepper Twist!
You will need:
1) 250g mushrooms, chopped.
2) 200g fresh lasagne sheets. If you only have dried, or want to save a packet, simply blanch the dried sheets in boiling water until soft.
3) Red and green peppers, sliced.
4) Half a bag of baby spinach, chopped.
5) Cheese sauce (to make from scratch, use 25g butter, 25g plain flour, 300ml semi skimmed milk and 100g cheddar, grated. It’s cheaper making from scratch, and far better for you!)
6) 1 onion, chopped.
7) 2 garlic cloves, chopped.
8) 2 tbsp mascarpone (or cream cheese, for a budget option)
9) a pinch of ground nutmeg.
10) Parmesan to top.
(I’m also using two tomatoes, chopped, though this is simply to use them up!)
How to make it:
1) Preheat the oven to 200c and blanch the lasagne sheets, if you are using dried. Get busy preparing the veg whilst the pasta is softening.
2) In a large frying pan, heat some olive oil and fry the onion and garlic until soft.
3) Add the mushrooms, peppers and tomato (if using) and fry for another five minutes or so.
4) Lastly, add the spinach leaves and fry briefly until the leaves have wilted. Set aside for later.
5) Now make a cheese sauce. Firstly, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and whisk briskly into a paste. Then add the milk gradually,whisking all the time. Raise to a boil if the sauce won’t thicken, and then drop to a simmer, before finally adding your grated cheddar. Simple!
6) Mix the mascarpone/ cream cheese into the mushroom mix and stir well, before starting to layer up your lasagne. Pour half the mushroom mix into the bottom, layer with half the lasagne sheets, then pour over half the cheese sauce. Repeat, then top with a sprinkle of Parmesan and nutmeg.
7) Pop in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until it looks golden and bubbly!
Total Cost: At a rough guess, I’d estimate between £2.20 and £2.60? So at a maximum, I’d estimate 65p per person. Which suits my purse! With fresh lasagne and mascarpone, this would obviously be more.
The Verdict? DB1, once again, excelled himself and wolfed it all down. DB2, sadly, only picked at it. But again, teething may be a contributing factor! I thought it was YUM, a really nice take on a traditional lasagne, but a lot lighter, a lot fresher. Big thumbs up.