I love a good lasagne and it’s a satisfying dish to make when you have time to potter about in the kitchen. With spring having finally arrived in Zurich and warmer weather slowly creeping into the forecast, I wanted to make a baked pasta dish, but nothing too rich and heavy. This vegetarian lasagne is super easy to make, requiring only a simple tomato sauce and a béchamel sauce and, if you like, a scattering of vegetables between the layers.
As with any dish that has a few components and requires an assembly job, making a lasagne is not necessarily something you would attempt during the week after a long day at work, but it sure makes for a special meal at any other time.
This is a clean lasagne with simple, fresh flavours. The tomato sauce is one which I make at least once a week to serve with pasta, polenta or even alongside some grilled steak. And the béchamel sauce is a staple in my cooking, often used to generously coat some vegetables (like par-boiled cauliflower or boiled potatoes) and transform them into a cheesy gratin dish.
I quite like this lasagne with just the tomato sauce and béchamel sauce, but you can sneak in a few veges to make it more substantial, such as fresh spinach leaves, some thinly sliced courgettes (zucchini) or aubergines (eggplant), or perhaps some sliced mushrooms.
I prefer to use fresh lasagne sheets where possible, mainly because I like my pasta to be on the soft side and I find that dried pasta sheets are always too firm after baking, even if I have taken steps to ensure that the sauce is as runny as possible. To that end, I also pre-cook my fresh lasagne sheets in boiling water to get the cooking process started, thereby ensuring that the pasta will be to my liking come time to serve.
If you have extra time on your hands, you can make this dish even more special by making your own pasta from scratch. But given the steps already involved in making the two sauces and then assembling the dish, store-bought lasagne sheets will make your life a bit easier.
What are your favourite fillings for lasagne?