Fill sheets of pasta with tomato, aubergine and ricotta for a delicious vegetarian main - perfect for feeding a crowd!
PREP TIME: 45 MINS
COOK TIME: 2 HRS
12-16 fresh lasagne sheets
For the tomato & aubergine sauce:
4 tbsp olive oil
3 large aubergines, chopped into small chunks
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
2 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp golden caster sugar
pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
handful of basil leaves, finely chopped
dash of soy sauce
For the ricotta filling:
50g parmesan, finely grated
2 medium eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
For the cheese sauce:
50g plain flour
100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp English mustard
First, make the tomato & aubergine sauce. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the aubergine in 3 batches, adding 1 tbsp oil for each batch. They should be softened and lightly golden.
Add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the onions for 5 mins until softened. Stir in the garlic, cook for 1 min more, then return the aubergine to the pan with the tomatoes, tomato purée, sugar and chilli flakes. Bring just to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 10 mins. Take off the heat, stir in the basil and soy sauce, and season to taste.
Mix together all the ingredients for the ricotta filling, season and set aside – or cover and leave in the fridge if making in advance. Both the aubergine and the ricotta sauce can be chilled for up to 2 days.
For the cheese sauce, add all the ingredients to a pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring all the time, until it thickens and the cheese has melted, then turn down the heat to low and cook for another 5 mins. Season to taste.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. To assemble the lasagne, spoon half the aubergine mixture into the bottom of a large baking dish. Top with a layer of lasagne sheets, then spread over a ricotta layer. Add another layer of lasagne sheets, followed by the remaining aubergine mixture and another layer of lasagne sheets. Pour over the cheese sauce (it can now be frozen for 1 month – defrost before cooking). Bake in the oven for 50 mins-1 hr until golden and heated through.