Sunday is a day for Roasts, hearty, warming and filling meals to curl up with. We often have a Sunday Roast but this week we decided to make something a little more special a Roasted Vegetable Lasagne. The peppers have that gorgeous roasted warming quality that I love so much, and I have to say I ate some before popping them in the sauce. The best part about a meal like this is that the Tomato Sauce will improve when left over night so the left overs can often taste even better.
This is a special meal and not for making everyday as it is time consuming and has a long list of ingredients. As it’s not quick to make you will need to give yourself some time to prepare and cook the Vegetable Lasagne. There are a few stages to go through, but is is well worth the effort to do.
The recipe itself comes from a Vegetarian cookbook from Cornucopia, a Vegetarian Restaurant in Dublin, Ireland. The Cookbook is called Cornucopia at Home and has some really lovely Recipes which could tempt even the most ardent meat eater. I made some changes to the original recipe, replacing the Red Wine with Red Wine vinegar and Vegetable Stock to make up the liquid. I also added dried Rosemary and Fennel Seeds.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.
For the Lasagne
1 Large Aubergine, Cubed
1 Courgette, Sliced
1 Red Pepper, Diced
1 Yellow Pepper, Diced
1 Green Pepper, Diced
1 Packet of Lasagne Sheets
100g Parmesan Cheese, Grated
Salt & Pepper to taste
For the Red Wine Sauce
200ml Red Wine OR
1 capfull Red Wine Vinegar & 200ml Vegetable Stock
For the Bechamel Sauce
50g Plain Flour
1 Egg Yolk
Handful of Fresh Bail finely chopped
Pinch of Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 200c. I begain by preparing all of the Vegetables for both the Lasagne and the Red Wine Sauce and set aside. Mix the Rosemary with enough Olive Oil to coat the Aubergines and add to a roasting tin. Do the same with the Peppers and Courgettes and add to a seperate tin. Roast in the oven stiring occasionally till softened but not black, this should take around 20-30 minutes.
Whilst the Vegtables are roasting make the Red Wine sauce. Coat the base of a saucepan with Olive Oil and once heated add the Carrot, Onion, Celery, Garlic and Fennel. Stir to coat with the Oil. then reduce the heat and cover. Allow this to cook for 15 minutes the Onions should be translucent. Mix in the Sage. At this point either add the Red Wine or Red Wine Vinegar and Vegetable Stock. If using Wine allow it to simmer for 5 minutes allowing soem alcohol to evaporate. Now add the tinned and fresh Tomatoes. Return to a simmer taste the sauce and add Salt, Pepper & Sugar to balance the flavours. Simmer for 30 minutes uncovered to reduce and thicken. Taste every so often and use seasoning to adjust the flavour if needed.
Mix the Roasted Vegtables into the Sauce. It should make a rich and chunky filling. Set aside and allow to cool a little.
Next make the Bechamel Sauce. Weigh all the ingredients out and have them and a whish to hand as you will need them quickly whilst making it. Begin by making a Roux. Melt the butter in a small Sauce Pan. Stiring Constantly mix in the Flour. It will come together in a paste. Reduce the heat to a low setting and begin gradually adding the Milk whilst stiring with a Whisk. As you add the first of the Milk the mix will keep returning to a paste, be patient and very gradually pour the Milk in slowly. Eventually it will form a creamy sauce. Remove from the heat and season with a little Pepper, the Basil and Nutmeg. Finally whisk in the Egg Yolk.
Its time to assemble the Lasagne. In a deep oven dish (I used a round one as both my rectangular ones had been used earlier) spread out 1/4 of the vegetable filling and cover with a layer of Lasagne sheets. Spread another 1/4 of the filling and cover with Lasagne sheets repeat till you have a finaly layer of Vegetable sauce. Smoooth it down and cover with the Bechamel Sauce. Sprinkle the Grated Cheese evenly over the top.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes untill the crust is golden and the sauce is bubbling around the edges. To test the Pasta is cooked, insert a knife through the Lasagne. Allow the Lasagne to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with either fresh green salad or steamed vegtables.
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