Lasagne III

With the substitution of spinach for meat, this version of Lasagne makes a spicy and rich vegetarian meal. Serve it with a tomato and cucumber salad, lots of crusty bread and some well-chilled light white wine – a Toscano Bianco, for instance.

1 tablespoons olive oil

6 oz. lasagne

1 lb. spinach, cooked

12 oz. mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

2 fl. oz. olive oil

2 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

4 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced

11- lb. canned peeled tomatoes

3 oz. tomato puree

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

First, prepare the sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the olive oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic and cook them, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent

but not brown. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes with the can juices, the tomato puree, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and mix well to blend.

Bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Half fill a large saucepan with water and add

1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bring the water to the boil over high heat. Add half the lasagne to the pan, sheet by sheet, and cook it for

12 to

15 minutes or until it is al dente or just tender. When the pasta is cooked, remove it from the pan with a fish slice or tongs, being careful not to tear the sheets.

Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and cook the remaining lasagne in the same way. (The oil prevents the sheets of pasta from sticking together.)

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190X).

Place one-third of the lasagne on the bottom of a medium-sized ovenproof casserole. Spread over half the spinach and cover with half the mozzarella cheese. Pour over half of the tomato sauce and sprinkle over one-third of the Parmesan cheese.

Continue to make layers in the same way until all the ingredients are used up, ending with a layer of lasagne sprinkled over with Parmesan cheese.

Place the casserole in the oven and bake the lasagne for 45 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and cut the lasagne into squares. Serve at once.

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