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Individual vegetarian lasagnes
main courses | serves 4
One of the secrets to good lasagne is to precook your pasta, even if the packet instructions say it’s not required. You can use this recipe to make one large lasagne, adjusting the cooking time as required.
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Line a shallow baking tray with baking paper. Place the tomatoes, cut-side up, on the tray, sprinkle over the thyme, drizzle with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, and season. Place in the oven to roast for 75 minutes, until the tomatoes start to caramelise.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the other elements of the lasagne. Heat a large frying pan and add a few drops of olive oil. Add the chopped shallots and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the crushed garlic and cook for another minute, then remove the shallots and garlic from the pan and set aside. Add the spinach to the pan in 3 batches, using tongs, and sauté over a high heat until just wilted. Using the tongs, squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Add to the shallot mixture, toss to mix and season with pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.
3. For the white sauce, heat the milk in a large saucepan to just below boiling point, then pour into a jug. Wipe out the pan, return to a medium heat and add the butter. Once melted, stir in the flour and cook for 1–2 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the hot milk until you have
a smooth sauce. Return to the heat and cook over a medium heat until thickened – it shouldn’t be super-thick. Off the heat, stir in half the mature cheese and half the mozzarella. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
4. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and blanch the lasagne sheets, 2 at a time, for 2 minutes if fresh, 6 minutes if dried. Plunge into a bowl of ice-cold water, then drain on paper towel.
5. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. To assemble the lasagnes, drizzle 1–2 tablespoons of white sauce into four 300–350ml ramekins or single-serve pie dishes that are 5–7.5cm deep. Top with a sheet of lasagne; trim to fit if required. Scatter over a few roasted tomatoes, a little spinach and some crumbled ricotta. Repeat with another 2–3 layers of white sauce, lasagne, tomatoes and spinach, finishing with vegetables and sauce. Scatter over the remaining mature cheese and mozzarella, and place on a baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. Allow the lasagnes to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Per serving 802 cals, 42.2g fat, (23.1g saturated), 44.4g protein, 56.5g carbs, 21g sugars
Recipe Susie Theodorou
Photo Con Poulos
from Issue 19
ingredients• 1.2kg cherry tomatoes, halved
• 5 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 shallots, finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste with a little salt
• 500g baby spinach, washed and spun dry
• 8–12 fresh or dried lasagne sheets
• 350g ricotta
• 600ml milk
• 25g butter
• 2 heaped tbsp flour
• 150g vegetarian sharp, mature cheese, grated
• 100g mozzarella, torn