I just found this recipe from a week or two ago in my iPhoto library. I pondered whether to share – it’s grainy and not a great photo, I made it and shot it in awful light, this was before my new softbox (photography lighting) arrived. But hey, I”m not a professional photographer. This isn’t a magazine. I’m not perfect. My kids don’t eat everything I make. This is real family food, right? So, hell yeah, I’ll share it, because the most important thing here is that I help other mums make dinner that there kids might actually eat. (Plus the landscape piccie below is kind of OK, so that’s redeemed the not very good one above)
My kids ate this, and they blooming well enjoyed it too. They asked for seconds, damn it! So that makes it not just a sharer, but a I-recommend-you-make-this-er. I know – it’s shocking that kids would eat, nay, enjoy a recipe with actual vegetables at its heart. But they did, they really did. It was also a great way of using up some past their best veggies at the bottom of the fridge. Here’s the secret – chop them up small, so small that they kind of melt into the sauce and the main thing going on is the pasta and bechamel (we don’t call it cheese sauce any more as Arthur hates cheese – even though he patently doesn’t as he eats it on pizzas and in cheese sauce).
The recipe is one of those where exact amounts don’t matter, but here’s pretty much what I did…
Makes: enough to feed 4-6
Takes: About an hour in total
- 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, diced
- 2 small courgettes, diced
- 2 red onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- About 400ml passata (not chopped tomatoes as they need cooking out)
- About 9 sheets of lasagne
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- About 1 pint of milk
- About 50g grated cheddar, plus more for top
- Preheat oven to 180C. In a large roasting tray, add diced veggies, chopped garlic and oil. Roast until soft, tossing once. About 25 minutes should do it.
- Meanwhile, make your cheese sauce by melting butter in a pan, adding flour and then gradually adding milk. Whisk if needed. Add cheese. OR – pop flour, butter, milk in a microwaveable jug. Microwave for 6 minutes on HIGH, whisking every minute. It works, trust me! Either way is fine. I find the pan method weirdly therapeutic…
- When the veggies are nicely roasted and soft with some colour too, bind them with the passata and season generously. You don’t need to cook. Keep the oven on.
- Layer up with sheets of lasagne. Start with roasted vegetable and tomato mixture, add sheets, repeat until you have 3 layers of pasta. Finish with cheese sauce. And top with more grated cheese. Parmesan if you like, or cheddar.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and the sheets of pasta are cooked. Serve with anything that the children will eat. They like sweetcorn – but for adults a salad might be nice.