Ricotta and Leek Lasagne

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An ode to Spring greens and melted cheese, this lasagne is even better enjoyed cold the next day, with a light salad to balance out the richness of the bechamel sauce.

Serves

6 people, with leftovers

Ingredients

  • 4 leeks, white and light green parks only, chopped finely
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 125ml of The Stock Merchant Vegetable Stock
  • 2 large cups of chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup of loosely packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup of fresh basil, torn
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen peas
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 600g of fresh full fat ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon of grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus extra to sprinkle on top
  • 1 package of fresh lasagne sheets

    For the bechamel
  • 80 grams of butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/3 cup of plain flour 
  • 2 cups of shredded gruyere cheese 
  • Pinch each of nutmeg and cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano 
  • 4 1/2 cups of whole milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius, and lightly grease a large baking dish.
  2. To make the bechamel sauce: heat the butter in a saucepan on medium heat until it bubbles. Whisk in the flour, then gradually incorporate the milk until smooth. Allow to thicken considerably, then remove from heat. Stir in cheese and season. Set aside.
  3. In a large heavy based saucepan, three tablespoons of butter. Over medium heat, sauté the leeks and garlic until the leeks are soft. Deglaze the pan with the vegetable stock, and then cook, uncovered until the liquid reduces slightly. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach, parsley, basil and peas. Set aside.
  4. Combine the ricotta, Parmigiano, lemon zest and eggs until smooth. If you have any leftover fresh herbs throw them in too.  Season generously with salt and pepper Set aside.
  5. To assemble, Spread a layer of the bechamel on the bottom of the pan. Top with lasagne sheets, greens mixture, bechamel, another pasta layer, another layer of vegetables, a layer of the cheesy ricotta mixture, then a thin layer of bechamel and sprinkle your extra parmesan on top. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until bubbling with a golden cheese topping.

Based loosely on this recipe on Food 52.

 

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