I knew I was going to love this dish when I saw anchovies in the ingredients but if you don’t share my enthusiasm, don’t be alarmed. They give the vegetables a boost but you won’t taste a strong fishy flavour.
The lasagne feeds six to eight people and if you follow the recipe exactly make sure that you have a large pan to cook the filling in. The first time I made this I thought that my biggest saucepan (20cm) would be big enough but it could only take half of the filling so I ended up using two pans.
The combination of vegetables is lovely but we mainly shop at Tesco where 700g of asparagus would have cost around £8.00 so to make things cheaper I used 375g of asparagus and a medium head of broccoli cut into small florets.
As with all of the 30 minute meals that I’ve attempted, this one took longer because I don’t have a 30cm x 35cm deep roasting tin that can be placed directly on a hob to speed up the cooking time. Instead, I cooked the lasagne in the traditional way, by baking it in the oven.
- 1 bunch spring onions
- ½ a 30g tin anchovies in oil
- 6 cloves garlic
- 700g asparagus
- 500g frozen peas
- 300g frozen broad beans
- large bunch fresh mint
- 300ml single cream
- 1 lemon
- 300ml vegetable or chicken stock
- 500g cottage cheese
- 2 packs fresh lasagne sheets (500g total)
- Parmesan cheese
- few sprigs fresh thyme (or a pinch of dried thyme)
- ½ ciabatta loaf
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- few sprigs oregano or rosemary
- 1 tbs small capers
- ½ a 30g tin anchovies in oil
- small bunch fresh basil
- 6 jarred red peppers
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 vines cherry tomatoes (mixed colours if possible)
- 3 large tomatoes
- red wine vinegar
- Parmesan cheese (to serve)
- 500g frozen mango chunks
- 2 tbs runny honey
- 1 lime
- few sprigs fresh mint
- 250g natural yoghurt
- 6-8 small ice cream cones
- 70% dark chocolate (for grating)
- Half fill and boil the kettle.
- Lasagne - Pour the oil from the anchovies into a large saucepan and place on a medium heat. Finely slice the spring onions and add to the saucepan along with half a tin of anchovies.
- Trim the pointed tips off the asparagus and put to one side, then trim the woody ends from the other side and discard. Finely slice the stems into 1.5cm pieces before adding to the saucepan with a splash of water from the kettle and a pinch of salt and pepper. After a few minutes crush six cloves of garlic into the saucepan.
- Tuscan salad - tear the ciabatta into 2cm chunks, place onto a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and toss with fennel seeds, oregano or rosemary and a pinch of salt. Mix well then place under a grill on a medium shelf for about 10 minutes, checking once in a while to make sure the bread doesn’t burn.
- Lasagne - add the peas and broad beans to the saucepan and stir well.
- Slice the mint leaves then add to the saucepan along with the cream. Grate in the zest of half a lemon.
- Tuscan salad - check on the bread and remove from the grill once golden.
- Lasagne - use a potato masher to mash some of the vegetable filling then cover with 300ml of vegetable or chicken stock and bring to a boil before adding 250g of cottage cheese. Give everything a good stir and cook for a few more minutes.
- Put a deep roasting tray (approximately 35cm x 30cm) over a hob set to a medium heat.
- Spoon around one quarter of the mixture into the tray then top with lasagne sheets and a generous grating of parmesan cheese. Repeat the layers of vegetable and lasagne sheets until you have used all of the filling and then top with a final layer of pasta sheets.
- Mix the remaining 250g of cottage cheese with a splash of boiled water and then spread over the lasagne.
- Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus tips, season with salt and pepper, then scatter the tips over the lasagne. Sprinkle over thyme leaves along with another good grating of Parmesan and a final drizzle of olive oil.
- Turn the heat up under the tray until the lasagne bubbles then transfer to the grill on the middle shelf and cook for 8 minutes until the topping has browned.
- Tuscan salad - put the capers, anchovies, most of the basil and four of the red peppers onto a board and roughly chop. Crush over a clove of garlic, add all of the tomatoes and chop again.
- Transfer to a large bowl and add a drizzle of red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil then season. Add the croutons and tear in the remaining two peppers then mix and squeeze everything together with your hands. Taste and add more seasoning or red wine vinegar if needed then finish with the remaining basil leaves and grate over some Parmesan.
- Mango dessert - put the mango, honey, juice of a lime, yoghurt and mint leaves into a food processor and blend until smooth. Place into the freezer until you’re ready to serve.
- Lasagne - Take to the table and grate over some Parmesan before serving.
- Mango dessert - divide between cones and grate over chocolate.