Is there anything better than some Italian classics? Why is it that pizza, pasta, lasagna are some of our favourite dishes that we always turn to? Is it the ingredients that just work so well together? Or the memories that we have eating such dishes? Is it the love and time that is spent on creating them? Could it be our energy and attention that flows through when we make a homemade pizza base, or a tray full of ravioli, or the stirring and continuous attention we give to a sauce base? Whatever it may be, I think that some of my favourite memories of meals have pizza, pasta or lasagna involved!
This lasagne recipe heroes some great Tasmanian vegetables that can be found in Harris Farm stores! I’ve used some swedes, broccoli, carrots, leeks and onions from Harris Farm that sourced these veggies from Tasmania! Mushrooms are always a great addition to a vegetable based lasagna and of course plenty of cheese and béchamel to make the layers even creamier! I like to add plenty of nutmeg to the bechamel sauce, as well as use a sharp parmesan cheese and top the lasagna with fresh basil once it comes out of the oven.
(makes 1 large lasagna with 12 servings)
2 x medium sized broccoli (roughly chopped)
2 x medium swedes or 500g (finely diced)
400g of carrots (finely grated)
300g of mushrooms (cleaned and roughly chopped)
1 leek (first 2 layers removed and then finely sliced)
1 red onion (finely diced)
1.4L passatta (plain)
4 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1 whole nutmeg or 1 tsp of nutmeg powder
200g finely grated parmesan cheese
250g grated mozarella
approximately 15 lasagna sheets I used 15 Barilla lasagna sheets
fresh basil (a few basil leaves to top the lasagna)
salt + pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Dice and slice all the vegetables and in a large pot start cooking the swedes, onion, leek and carrots in a large pot with olive oil. Caramelise this mixture and allow to cook for 15 minutes, stirring every minute or so.
- After 15 minutes add the broccoli and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the passata and cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper then set aside.
- For the bechamel sauce melt the butter with the milk in a medium sized pot and bring this mixture to nearly boiling. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the nutmeg and sift the flour into the pot (a little bit at a time). Using a whisk to stir continuously. Increase the heat if necessary but stir until the mixture thickens, it should do so after 4-5 minutes. Add some salt for seasoning.
- To assemble the lasagna together oil the base of the tin. Begin by placing a layer of the vegetable mixture, followed by some bechamel and the two cheeses. Place lasagna sheets on top (depending which ones you are using they may need soaking prior) and repeat the process by layering with the vegetable mix, the bechamel and the two cheeses. Finish the top layer with the vegetable mixture, bechamel and extra cheese.
- Place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil.