It has been way too long since a maak’it post and it is about time I pay some attention to this little project. I have been putting off writing, mostly because in winter I become a bullet point person. I have some trouble communicating beyond the basic necessities during the colder months. It makes me a great listener in winter and a gregarious chatterbox in summer. All those words I saved up in the cold months? I am here to spend them! One of the few pleasures of winter (IMHO) is comfort food. I am generally not a fan of mushy food, but come winter I can not say no to a plate of warm oats, mashed potatoes or anything that makes me feel like I have been bear hugged. This roasted vegetable lasagna ticks ALL those boxes and it is relatively healthy to boot. Or can be, if you are not a cheese addict .BBC Good Food, and although it is fantastic as is, I have made a few changes that works for me. Before we kick off though, I have to tell you that you will have a large quantity of tomato sauce left over. DO NOT let this put you off from trying this recipe, this sauce is a great base for pretty much any 20 minute meal you can imagine, spaghetti bolognaise, mince on toast, roasted chicken breast in tomato sauce or my new all time favourite, omelettes. It really is a great staple to have in your fridge, my fridge has not been without a tub of sauce for the past six months.
For the most awesome tomato sauce in the world you will need:
- 2 chopped onions
- 2/3 cloves of crushed garlic (1 tbsp will do too)
- 1 carrot, sliced or chopped
- thyme and rosemary
- olive oil
- 1 packet Ina Paarman Sundried Tomato Pesto (or 2 tbsp normal tomato paste)
- 200 ml white wine (red works just as well, your sauce will just be darker)
- 3 cans of crushed tomatoes (or 2 cans chopped tomatoes, 1 can tomato purée)
- 4 tbsp basil pesto (or to taste, I like basil pesto a LOT!)
- salt, black pepper and sugar to taste
- Heat the olive oil on medium heat.
- Add the onion, garlic and carrot and fry it until it is soft. I add some fresh thyme and rosemary at this stage as well.
- Turn up the heat a little and add the tomato pesto or paste and fry for about a minute.
- Add the wine, turn down the heat back to medium and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add the canned tomatoes, bring to a boil and then let all the goodness simmer for about 20 minutes. Twenty minutes is purely a guideline though, as long as you give it a good stir every now and again you can let it simmer for as long as you want. I have found the longer it simmers the better the sauce.
- At some point, let the sauce cool down. Add the basil pesto and give it whizz with the stick blender to purée it. Once the pesto has been blended in, start seasoning to taste. Here is the bit where Tannie Ina’s tomato pesto comes into play, other than a little salt and pepper you will not need much seasoning.
- If you are not happy with the thickness of the sauce, return it to the stove. For a thicker sauce let it simmer a while longer without a lid, for a thinner sauce add some more wine and let it simmer with the lid on. Just remember to give it a stir every once in a while.
- Red and yellow sweet peppers
- Eggplant (aubergine)
- Courgettes (zucchini)
- Ina Paarman Rosemary and Olive Seasoning
- Olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 200 °C.
- Deseed and quarter the peppers.
- Cut the eggplants (aubergines) into slices that is between 0.5 cm and 1 cm thick.
- Halve the courgettes (zucchinis).
- Put all the veggies into a mixing bowl. Season it with Tannie Ina’s Rosemary and Olive seasoning and toss with a splash or two of olive oil.
- Lightly grease a roasting pan and spread your veggies on it.
- Pop into the oven for about 30 minutes or until it is lightly browned.
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
- Roasted Vegetables
- Tomato Sauce
- White Sauce
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 °C.
- Make a layer of roasted vegetables.
- Fill the gaps between the veggies with cooked lentils
- Cover with tomato sauce
- Add your lasagna sheets
- Cover with white sauce.
- Repeat steps 1 to 5 until your dish is full. Make sure to end with a layer of white sauce.
- Cover with cheese and put into the oven for 30 minutes, check your lasagna packaging for the correct time.
And that is it, roasted vegetable lasagna to feed the masses. I have no idea why or how it happens, but if you let the it stand for a day and heat it up before you serve it the next day, the lasagna is even better. Same thing with the tomato sauce by day 5 it has settled into a concoction that is good enough to eat by itself. Another great thing about lasagna is that you can freeze it for up to 3 months. That is what I am told, I have never had in the freezer for so long, it tends to get eaten quickly 🙂 When I make it in bulk to freeze I leave the cheese topping off. Once it has defrosted I add the cheese and then heat it up, that way you never end up with hard and rubbery cheese layer.
And that is it, maters. I hope you try this dish out, it is truly a crowdpleaser, even my ‘aartappels en vleis’ brother loves it, the ultimate stamp of approval for any vegetarian dish.