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Recipe: Roasted fennel, spinach, and goats cheese lasagne

Last week, Snack Box published this recipe for Spaghetti Bolognaise. But what about the poor veggies?  Pasta is a tried and tested veggie option, but it can get quite boring.

Roasted fennel, spinach, and goats cheese lasagna is a very easy, very delicious twist on the usual snoozeworthy veggie option: “Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Lasanga”. I’ve varied this recipe slightly from the excellent Cafe Fresh cookbook.

A minute of chopping, bung in the oven, and while you’re waiting, prepare a simple bechamel sauce. When it’s ready, assemble it  together for an unusual mix of flavours.

Many of the ingredients – butter, flour, fennel seeds, bay leaf, lasagna sheets – are store cupboard staples. Fennel, spinach, an onion, goats cheese, and some garlic shouldn’t cost more than about €6-7 if you shop in greengrocers and Lidl/ Aldi, and for this you’ll feed four people. It’s quickly becoming a staple dinner round these parts.

Ingredients: Filling

  • 2 onions or 1 leeks, chopped
  • 3 fennel bulbs, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • Around 300 fresh spinach, washed
  • A sprinkle of fennel seeds
  • 100g goats cheese, chopped
  • A sprinkle of fresh parmesan
  • Lasagna sheets

Ingredients: Bechamel

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 40g or 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1pint-500ml milk
  • Bay leaf
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper

Method: Filling

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Toss the chopped onion or leek, garlic, fennel and fennel seeds in olive oil. Roast for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • Mix in the spinach and stir until it wilts

Method: Bechamel Sauce

  • While the filling is roasting in the oven To make the bechamel, melt the butter over a low heat, add the flour, and stir until the mixture is smoothly blended, without letting it change colour.
  • Slowly stir in the milk and bring to the boil, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Once the sauce has thickened, turn off the heat, add a bay leaf and a dash of nutmeg and leave to infuse

To Assemble

A layer of filling, a layer of lasagna, pour over the sauce. Repeat, and top with the goats cheese. Coverwith foil and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with parmesan, return to the oven for 5 minutes. It’s robust enough to serve alone.

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