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Monday 18 January 2010

Sluttishly Savoury: Courgette & Onion Creamy Veggie Lasagne

In need of a dish for veggie friends of family, but can't abide meat substitutes like tofu or Quorn? Never fear! Although most veggies I know might tut and sigh when they see vegetarian lasagne as the only meat-free menu option at pubs and restaurants, this particular version involves no meat substitutes whatsoever and is more original than most token veggie pub grub. Instead, it's a creamy, carbilicious cheesy extravaganza which carnivores and vegetarians can both enjoy (and if you're a stalwart meat-eater who really can't cope without it for even one meal, you can easily adapt this recipe by adding bacon strips to make a carbonara-style sauce). As a bonus, it's easy to whip up, and only takes about twenty minutes, making it fab comfort food when you've had a hard day.

All you'll need is:
(Should easily serve four, so if it's just you and a friend or significant other, then halve the proportions for a less-mammoth amount)

  • 10 sheets of lasagne ( This'll vary depending on the dish you're using and the size of the sheets. Essentially, you need enough for two layers of pasta, so check this before you start)
  • 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 6 courgettes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 50g cheddar
  • 250g ricotta
  • 350g tomato pasta sauce
  • (you can buy a ready-made jar if you're feeling lazy, or make your own simple sauce using passata and tomato purée)

  • Saucepan (you'll need 2 of these if you're making your own tomato sauce)
  • Frying pan
  • Large baking dish

Make it!

1.Pop your oven on to 220C. Chop your courgettes and onion, and crush your garlic cloves.

2.Once your vegetables have been massacred into small chunks, fill your saucepan with boiling water, and cook your sheets of lasagne until they're soft but not completely cooked through. This should take about five minutes. Once they're done, drain and rinse the sheets in cool water, drizzle with oil to stop them sticking together and then set aside.

3.Whilst your lasagne sheets are cooking, fry your onion, courgette and garlic, then stir in 2/3 of both the ricotta and cheddar. Heat your tomato sauce in a separate pan or microwave until hot.

4.It's layering time! This is the best bit of making lasagne. Assemble all your components within easy reach, position your baking dish within easy reach, and select an appropriate soundtrack. Might I suggest Weird Al's pasta anthem, or if you have more taste than me (not exactly difficult), then maybe the Knife's Lasagne instead.

5.So, into your baking dish, spoon half the courgette/cheese mix, then a layer of pasta, then half the tomato sauce. Repeat, then top the second layer of tomato sauce with the remaining ricotta and cheddar, and bake for ten minutes until everything's bubbling and delicious-looking. Dish it up with a glass of wine and tuck in!


  1. Sounds delicious. As a vegetarian, I shall give it a go. However, you forgot the onion in the ingredients list. :)

  2. Well spotted, thanks Beth! We'll amend straight away. We obviously got too caught up in drooling over the idea of carbs and cheese...

  3. Carbs and cheese would cause any sane person to lose focus. Mmmm, cheese!

  4. Exactly!I often find myself fantasising about cheese and carbs during long, hard days...

  5. That sounds delicious! May make it for the fella next time he's round - currently trying to prove that food without dead cow in it isn't automatically poisonous!

  6. Good idea - it's easy to do, although if you've never made lasagne before you can simplify it even more by adapting it into a pasta bake instead. Addle his brain with cheese and carbs and he won't even notice that there's no meat in it!

  7. Yay! A veggie recipe that doesn't involve mushrooms :-)


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