If we all wanted different meals when we were younger we always got the same response from my mother, "This isn't a restaurant." Entirely the most appropriate response, especially with four young children to please. Though I always thought I'd have four too, I'm finding two children is often the perfect number of offspring. Making lasagna to order for instance; I simply layer each side with different ingredients. Each has their own favourite veg and sauce. Tristan is a pesto lover and Gracie likes tomato. Gracie eats all vegetables but Tris is more selective. When it comes to putting it all together they often do the layering themselves.
I recently asked the children to make a list of their favourite meals and this veggie lasagna made it into both their top fives.
The baking dish we use makes 4 portions or 3 large portions. If I'm making this just for the two children then there's enough for their dinner and leftovers for their lunch the next day.
This recipe fits into a small baking dish 20cm x 28cm (8 x 11 inches)
We have no recipe for this lasagna but this is how we make it.
6 sheets of fresh lasagna pasta
250g pot of ricotta,
A few handfuls of mozzarella grated (roughly 1.5 cups)
Selection of lightly steamed vegetables (Peas can go straight in fresh or frozen)
Olive oil to drizzle
Sauce of choice (we use green pesto on half and tomato sauce on the other half)
Preheat the oven to about 190 C and put one large pot of water on a gentle boil.
We don't have a pasta maker but we use fresh lasagna sheets from the supermarket fridge section.
Lightly steam a variety of vegetables and add a handful of fresh or frozen peas to the selection. Set the veg aside.
Mix one pot of Ricotta with a few handfuls or grated mozzarella (I'm guessing a little more than a cup) and one egg to bind. Mix well with a fork and set aside.
Put a couple of fresh pasta sheets into the boiling water for a minute or two.
Spread a little sauce on the bottom of your baking dish. Take the two sheets of parboiled pasta from the water, let the water drip off of them then lay them over the sauce, covering the bottom of your dish with them (my dish was covered with two large sheets of lasagna pasta).
Add another layer of sauce over the sheets of pasta then spread over a couple spoonfuls of the cheese mixture. Top the cheese with a selection of vegetables.
Pop another two sheets of pasta in the water for a minute or two then repeat the process of layering pasta, sauce, cheese and veg again. Lastly, top with another two lightly boiled pasta sheets, then the remaining cheese mixture sprinkled with more grated mozzarella, enough to mostly cover the pasta. I also drizzle a little olive oil to the corners and edges so be sure it lifts out of the dish easily.
Bake for roughly 30 mins or until the cheese browns a little.
Note: We use the fresh pasta and partly steamed vegetables to cut down on the baking time I find it helps keep the veg and pasta from getting too gloopy and mushy.
We've been spring cleaning up a storm and I'm happy to say we've excavated our way to G's floor. I'm only wishing my energy could stretch to the garden, it's in need of some hard graft, harder than I can muster this year. We might have to forego the vegetable plot, but who knows, the sun is shining today and it's nourishment might provide enough energy to at least get one bed dug up and ready for planting.
I also shipped out a few packages earlier this week. Lately I've taken to using mother of pearl button backs. Many of the mother of pearl buttons are scratched and dull on the fronts but are dotted with delicate colours on the backs, flipping them is a happy solution.
We welcomed a new babe into the family this past week too. One of my sister-in-laws has two grown-up children and her eldest gave birth to baby Lily on Wednesday, we can't wait to meet her. Congratulations to Debs and Chris.
We're off for a walk, it's bluebell time, a spring highlight for us.