Back in July, my most loved friend Adele went away to Nepal to work as a community volunteer. Aside from a crackled Skype sesh and a delightful letter, I received very little contact while she was there, so in my own entirely selfish way I’m so happy that the work has ended and we finally have her home in England, with plenty of moving and inspiring stories to share with us all.
My focus primarily, as a rule, being on food, I have learned two things about Adele’s trip.
1. She has now graduated from Pescetarian to full blown Vegetarian
2. Cheese was unaccessible
What, therefore, would be the best way to welcome her home?
SUPER CHEESEY VEGETARIAN LASAGNE WITH A SIDE OF CHEESE!!
- One 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 200ml of red wine
- Vegetable stockpot
- A hefty array of mushroom (I got a pack of “mix exotic”- lovely lovely lovely)
- 5 baby courgettes
- 2 mighty sticks of celery
- 1 marvellous leek
- 1 red onion
- 2-3 cloves of garlic (depending on your taste)
- Any other veg you want… I also got these ADORABLE tiny tiny tomatoes which I kept whole
- 500g of strong cheddar, grated
- 500g of mozzarella, grated
- Fresh lasagne sheets
- White sauce (I used a powder sachet… sue me)
I should add, at this point, that you can of course use FAR less cheese than I. I simply upped my usual amount due to a previously promised Cheese Night. Go ahead and be healthy, why not!
So! Let’s hop to it.
1. Pre-heat your oven to 190 (fan assisted). Dice up your garlic and red onion, and chuck with a little olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook on a medium heat.
2. Chop up the celery and leek and add to the pot. Stir away.
3. Pour in your tinned tomatoes and red wine. Stir, then add the vegi stock pot.
4. Chop up your courgettes and mushrooms and add to the pot. Give a stir.
5. In goes the sweetcorn and tiny adorable tomatoes, if you were as lucky as me to find some. Stir, season with salt and pepper, then leave on a low simmer.
7. Prepare your lasagne sheets according to the instructions (or, do your thing if you make them fresh) and at last approach the lasagne dish to layer!
Repeat the following until you run out of space:
Only use a light sprinkling of mozzarella! It will be plenty.
When you get to the top, add your remaining mozzarella. Gently pour your Chivey White Sauce over and then top the whole then with COPIOUS amounts of grated mature cheddar.
8. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cheddar on top is crisp and golden
9. Slice, dish and serve with a stupid amount of wine and plenty of stories. Follow with Pub.
Useful Tip: With a side of bacon, this dish also serves as an effective Hangover Cure.