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Veggie lasagna with aubergine and ricotta cheese

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It’s been a while I haven’t posted anything here but the last weeks I was pretty busy to settle down in a new country. I thought my first recipe written in Barcelona gonna be some seafood or a fish but then I found my older photos from this lasagna I prepared few weeks ago and I knew I had to share this recipe with you. I should warn  you that for this kind of food you need a bit of patience and time, it’s not something you can cook in 20 minutes but it’s a kind of food you would like to share with your family or friends during some special occasion. It’s definitely worth preparing it and if you are keen on cooking as I am then you won’t care at all spending a bit more of your time in a kitchen 🙂

Normally I prepare meat lasagna but one day my mom asked me if I can try some veggie version so I came up with this recipe full of various vegetables, grilled aubergine, italian ricotta cheese and béchamel sauce. It was some kind of experiment (but anyway, most of my dishes are 😀 ) and I have to admit that it worked well! The taste of grilled aubergine is amazing, and I am not gonna talk what difference it makes when you add to the veggie-tomato sauce ricotta cheese. Don’t forget about béchamel sauce and grated mozzarella at the end! Creamy, flavorful and delicious 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • lasagna noodles
  • 1 eggplant, sliced
  • 2 bell peppers (different colours), chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 2-3 parsleys, chopped
  • 2 courgettes, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • fresh herbs (oregano, rosemary, basil, …etc)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 can/jar of tomato sauce (I used my homemade one)
  • 5 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 and 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
  • olive oil
  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g flour
  • 600 ml milk
  • a bit of nutmeg, grated

Instructions:

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook lasagna noodles about 2 minutes according to the package directions.  Drain and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven. Saute the onion and garlic and add the vegetable except aubergine. When the vegetable is almost tender add the tomato sauce and season it. Simmer the sauce for about 10-15 mins more and then stir in the ricotta cheese, and fresh herbs.
  • Meanwhile grill the aubergine on olive oil, season it and set aside.
  • To prepare béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a pot, add the flour-  stir it quickly into the butter. Cook the mixture for just under a minute. Stir in milk, a little at a time, making sure to stir well so that no lumps form. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly, so that the mixture thickens. Season it and sprinkle it with grated nutmeg. Boil for a few min.
  • To assemble the lasagna, lightly grease the baking dish. Layer with four of the lasagna noodles. Spread part of the veggie-tomato sauce over the noodles. Top with half of the béchamel sauce. Layer with 4 more lasagna noodles. Spread with the second part of veggie- tomato sauce over the noodles. Put the grilled aubergine on the top of the sauce. Layer with another lasagna noodles. Layer with the remaining béchamel sauce and sprinkle it with grated mozzarella.
  • Cover and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes more or until cheese is bubbly and slightly brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

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