By Nadine Smith 

    There are few meals more hearty and gratifying as lasagne, this lighter late summer version packed with Spinach and ricotta is no exception.   

    Serves 6 generously in a 30cm x 16cm x 8cm oven proof baking dish

    Spinach and ricotta filling ingredients

    • 2tbs extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 1 leek, finely chopped
    • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 600g English spinach leaves, stalks removed, well washed & drained, roughly chopped
    • 400g ricotta
    • 1 egg
    • 30g parmesan, grated
    • Freshly grated nutmeg, to season
    • Salt flakes & freshly ground pepper to season

    Béchamel ingredients

    • 50g unsalted butter
    • 2 tbs cornflour
    • 500ml milk, warmed
    • 1tsp white miso paste (optional but delicious)
    • 30g parmesan, grated
    • Salt flakes to season

    Tomato sauce ingredients

    • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
    • Salt flakes & freshly ground pepper to season

    Assembly ingredients

    • 350g fresh lasagne sheets 
    • 100g Colby cheese, grated


    Begin by preparing the spinach and ricotta filling. Heat a non-stick fry pan or saucepan over a medium heat and add the EVOO, onions, leek, celery, garlic and dust with a pinch of salt to draw out the moisture of the vegetables. Gently fry until the vegetables are translucent but without colour.  Add the chopped spinach and cover with a lid to steam until wilted – just one or two minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, mix through all of the remaining ingredients.

    Next, make the tomato sauce by heating a saucepan with the EVOO, add the chopped garlic then directly on top, the tomatoes. Bring up to a gentle simmer and allow to reduce by a third which will take at least 20 minutes. Occasionally shake the saucepan to bring the tomato tea like liquid to the top. Season with salt and pepper.

    Finally, make the béchamel. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and stir through the corn flour until combined and pasty looking.  Add the warmed milk, and miso paste (if using) whisk to mix then return to heat and with a wooden spoon stir gently until thickened.  Allow to cook for a few minutes, add the parmesan and season with salt and pepper. 

    Preheat the oven to 200C.

    To assemble, spread 2 or 3 tbsp of tomato sauce over the base of a 30cm x 16cm x 8cm oven proof baking dish, lay a single layer of lasagne sheets over, top with a quarter of the spinach and ricotta filling and drizzle over a quarter of the béchamel sauce. Repeat creating two more layers with another quarter each of lasagne sheets, spinach and ricotta filling and béchamel sauce. Top with the remaining lasagne sheets, tomato sauce, béchamel and grated cheese. Cover loosely with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes after which time remove the foil and bake for a further 15 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.  Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving

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