I’ve just started reading a new book and I’m tearing myself away from it to post this week’s recipe. Hence, the short and snappy intro. But actually, I don’t need to say a whole lot about this Mushroom, Spinach & Ricotta Lasagne. It’s Autumn, routine is back, and we all need a little more melted cheese and carbs in our lives. And while this is an ideal family or group dinner, it’s also perfectly acceptable to eat every single bite by yourself. It’s what I did. It tastes good when made, but even better reheated the next day. I love that lasagne has that magical power to make for the best leftovers. It also freezes well so ideal for all fans of batch-cooking.
I have no evidence to support this claim, but I’m going to say that a good veggie lasagne is good for your emotional wellbeing and something we should all eat more of. Now that’s the intro done… scroll on for the recipe for this Mushroom, Spinach & Ricotta Lasagne.
Mushroom, Spinach & Ricotta Lasagne
For the tomato sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 400g tin whole plum tomatoes
Sea salt and black pepper
For the mushroom and spinach filling
1 tbsp olive oil
8 cups baby spinach
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp garlic powder
Sea salt and black pepper
For the lasagne
250g fresh lasagne sheets
500g ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmesan
Start with the tomato sauce. Chop the onion finely and dice the carrots into small pieces. Heat the oil in a medium size saucepan over a low to medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it begins to turn translucent. This should take about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for another three minutes. Add the garlic and oregano. Add the tomatoes and fill the tin halfway with water and add the water along with the remaining tomato juice from the tin. Give everything a good stir and use the back of a wooden spoon to break down the whole tomatoes. Allow the sauce to simmer uncovered for 30 minutes until the tomatoes are broken down and the sauce has thickened. Taste the sauce and season with sea salt and black pepper. Use a blender or blender stick to blend the sauce into a smooth consistency.
Clean the mushrooms and slice them into bite size pieces. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are browned, stirring them every couple of minutes. This should take about 8 minutes. Add the garlic powder and grated nutmeg. Roughly chop the spinach and add it to the pan along with a pinch of salt. Continue to cook for about four minutes to allow the spinach to wilt. Remove from the heat and season well with sea salt and black pepper.
Cook the pasta sheets according to the pack. For fresh pasta sheets, this should take only 2-3 minutes in a large pot of boiling water. For dried pasta sheets, this should take a little longer. The pasta sheets don’t have to be fully cooked, as they will cook further in the oven.
To assemble the lasagne, the layers will look like this: Tomato sauce – pasta sheets – mushroom and spinach – ricotta – parmesan!
Use a small to medium size lasagne dish. Start by ladling a third of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the dish. Cover with a layer of pasta sheets. Spread about a half of the mushroom and spinach filling over the sheets, followed by about a third of the ricotta. Cover the ricotta with a thin layer of grated parmesan. Pour another third of the tomato sauce on top, a layer of pasta sheets, half the mushroom and spinach filling and a third of the ricotta in that order. Cover the ricotta with a thin layer of grated parmesan. Add the remaining tomato sauce, a layer of pasta sheets and the remaining ricotta. Finish with a decent layer of grated parmesan. This will form your cheese topping.
Place in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Gas mark 6 / 200C. After 30 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Alternatively allow to cool and keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours before reheating and serving. This lasagne freezes well. Just cut into individual portions before doing so.