As I mentioned in the "Pesto" post yesterday, I have tried a new "Quick Lasagne" recipe. Mark and I love lasagne, but it does take a little time to cook and prepare. We normally only have it on a weeknight if I have cooked a batch on the weekend. I tend to make 3 small ones at a time and freeze them for easy midweek meals. I buy disposable lasagne tins from the supermarket.
So, considering this, I was trying to think up a fast lasagne recipe. This one is a variation on a vegetarian lasagne I made some years ago. It was really just a rich, tomato sauce, mozzarella and herbs. With this one I incorporate pesto and spinach (yes, I do use a lot of spinach) and use a bottle of passata sauce which is really just a Italian sauce made only of tomatoes and salt. I often use passata for the tomato base of homemade pizzas.
As Mark usually likes some kind of meat in his meals, I added prosciutto. I like cooked prosciutto, so I fried the prosciutto until crisp prior to adding it to the lasagne, but this is not vital. I have also used homemade pesto, but of course you can use store bought pesto. The reason I use pizza style mozzarella instead of fresh bocconcini to finish is that I prefer how pizza style mozzarella browns.
I really enjoyed this meal, but am afraid the photo does not do it justice. I originally intended to add grated parmesan to each layer, but forgot while I was making the dish. I think this would definitely add another dimension, so I will try it another time and update the post.
I should warn that this is a fairly light lasagne, therefore serve with a large salad or allocate a little extra per person! I think it would make a lovely entree.
I also have an idea for a pesto chicken lasagne, but have not made that one yet. Stay posted, you may see it soon.
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
9 slices prosciutto
4 large fresh lasagne sheets (I use Latina Fresh large lasagne sheets - if not using this brand, you may need more lasagne sheets)
1 quantity pesto (about 3/4 cup - see post from 15 March 2009)
700g bottle tomato passata
500g fresh bocconcini sliced thinly
75-100g baby spinach
A few handfuls pizza style mozzarella (ie not fresh mozzarella)
If desired, fry or bake the prosciutto until crisp. Set aside. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Prepare either 3 small lasagne tins, or a medium sized (4-6 people) lasagne dish by spreading 1-3 teaspoons of pesto on the base (1 teaspoon if using small tins, 3 teaspoons if using a larger dish).
Cut the lasagne sheets to fit your tin/dish. Place one sheet of lasagne over the pesto. Spread lasagne sheet with another 1-3 teaspoons pesto and lay one prosciutto slice on top. Top with a handful of spinach and drizzle with passata. Then top with a handful of bocconcini. Repeat process another 2 times, finishing with a lasagne sheet. Sprinkle the final lasagne sheet with mozzarella.
Bake for 40 minutes or until nicely browned. For best results, leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a green salad.