Sunday, 15 February 2015

Veggie lasagne invention

I get a bit fed up of the same old same old tomatoes-onions-courgettes-peppers-mushrooms mix; we use it as a base for everything from sausage casserole to chilli to pasta sauce. So that, plus the desire for another veggie dish on the menu this week, and some stuff to use up, led to squash & chickpea lasagne.

2 onions
oil for frying
1 pepito squash (smaller than butternut, but use whatever you have)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tins chickpeas
1 stock cube
6 lasagne sheets
45g butter
45g plain flour
milk to make your desired consistency of sauce
salt, pepper, dried oregano, mustard powder, ground cumin & coriander to taste

Peel and process the squash - I used a coarse grater blade on a food processor but finely chopping would also work, as would pre-cooking it (halve, rub with oil, bake at 150-180°C until soft, then cool and coarsely chop).
Make up the stock and whizz with the tomatoes until smooth.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
Finely chop the onions and fry gently in oil with cumin and coriander until translucent. Add the chickpeas and squash, then the tomatoes and stock, oregano, and a bit more water if needed to cover. Simmer until the squash is falling apart and the chickpeas are a bit more tender, maybe 20 minutes. Season to taste and then mash a little bit with a potato masher to get a thick, soupy consistency with some whole and some smashed chickpeas.
While simmering, get a head start on the white sauce (melt the butter, fry the flour and spices (cumin, coriander, mustard) for a few mins, then add milk gradually, stirring well each time, to get the consistency of sauce you want).
Layer the squash mix, white sauce and lasagne in a dish and finish with a sprinkle of grated cheese. Bake for the time indicated on the lasagne packet.

The adult contingent in the house loved this. The toddler contingent wouldn't touch it with a barge pole, but I refuse to class that as a "didn't like".