That’s one of my biggest favourites: creamy, light, tastes sweet tomatoes and spicy courgette-ricotta sauce. Cheap’n’easy!
- lasagne sheets
- 2 onions
- 4-6 courgettes
- yellow cheese (cheddar makes it well)
- ricotta cheese (250 g max)
- tomato purée
- canned tomatoes (1 can)
- 1 carrot
- spices: salt, pepper, nutmeg, basil, oregano)
- optionally Worcestershire sauce
This recipe is of my own but the dish itself is well known so I’m not being very original here.
Let’s do it:
I boil water for lasagne sheets and cook them for a few minutes (never ever cook it till soft) to get to ‘almost al-dente’ stage. Lasagne always drives me mad as the sheets get glued together, I get my fingers burnt, pasta tears apart… But well, let’s say that’s done. I then chop one onion and cook it till transparent with 2 crushed garlic cloves. Meantime I peel and grate courgettes to add them to onions and cook for a few minutes. As soon as courgettes become bright green I add ricotta, grated cheddar, lots of grated nutmeg, salt and pepper. Fresh nutmeg is a little secret of this dish and I wouldn’t attempt to skip it.
Now it’s time for tomato sauce, which would be done in parallel with courgettes if I didn’t have only one pan.This part is inspired by Jamie’s bolognese: grate carrot, garlic and onion altogether, place into a hot pan and let the vegetables ‘get sweated’. After this, I put some more olive in the middle and throw in any Italian-style spices I have around: basil, oregano, rosemary… Fat is a great distributor of flavours : once I learnt this, I always practice and it really makes the difference. I stir tomato concentrate into the mixture. I add tomatoes and let it cook under cover for some time. Really long cooking will make the sauce nicely thickened but I usually don’t have this patience and simply add 2 tablespoons of ricotta to make it creamy straight away. Jamie reckons Worcestershire sauce is just right here and so do I. A tablespoon or two.
Having two fillings ready I spread them between lasagne sheets and let it cook for approx. 20 minutes in the oven (very, very long 20 minutes when you tasted it before and you know it tastes great, and you starve after a day spent on shopping for summer dresses ) I add even more grated cheddar on the top.
After 20 mins: voila! Fresh basil on the top, a glass of wine, movie, a couch ready to comfort you after, and the eve gets close to perfection…
My new invention: lasagne laundry. Works fine! Nothing got glued, nothing got torn apart, ha-ha