Mmm, lasagna. Nice, heavy, stick-to-your-ribs food for those cold winter days.
I love lasagna but I suck at making bechamel sauce. I am not particularly fond of the buckets of butter that go into it either. And since I’m vegetarian, fillings are a challenge… and take quite a bit of time to prepare, normally.
So because it’s springtime and the ingredients are actually present at the shops, here’s another of my favourite, light, low-work-intensive spring lasagnas!
Instead of bechamel, I exclusively use ricotta cheese. This light, crumbly Italian cheese is made from whey and therefore very light, has just the right creamcheese consistency and is really tasty! It’s kind of hard to get here in Sweden and seems to be seasonal (it wasn’t present at all a few weeks ago).
The chewy part of the filling is made from baby leaf spinach, and the sauce is almost pure tomato sauce.
This recipe makes two lasagnas (2 forms) which should be enough for 4 persons, or a dinner and a bento for 2 :)
We’ll start with the tomato sauce:
1tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 packet (500ml) pureed tomatoes
2 Tsp. Herbes de Provence (plus preferably chopped fresh rosemary, basil and oregano)
Salt, pepper, sugar
Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the garlic. Then add tomato sauce, herbs, spices and sugar to taste. I like my tomato sauce sweet.
Spray the lasagna forms with olive oil and spread a little sauce in the bottom.
Now you’ll need:
2 lasagna forms
1/4-1/2 kg babyleaf spinach
1 packet (250g) ricotta
1/2 packet pre-grated cheese
~3 sundried tomatoes
some crushed pine nuts
Blanch the spinach by spreading it in a sieve and pouring boiling water on it. This is the quickest variant, but don’t let me stop you from sautéing/steaming it with some salt and garlic.
Put 1-2 lasagna leaves in the form (I cracked the edges to make them fit) and spread some spinach on top.
Put another leaf on it, spread it with some ricotta. I also mixed in some sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and pepper to make it spicier.
Repeat to the top of the pan or the end of the leaves. Alternate spinach and ricotta or make every layer ricotta on the bottom and some spinach leaves on top.
Pour the tomato sauce over the lasagnas and spread grated cheese (for example pre-grated Mozarella) on top.
You can be generous now. The rest of the lasagna is already light enough :)
I also spread some parmesan cheese on top which makes a nice burnt pattern when it bakes:
Pop in the pre-heated oven (about 225 deg C should do it) and bake for 15-20 minutes.
And try not to burn your tongues too much.