Lasagne is one of my biggest conundrums. It's oh-so-delicious, but it's also oh-so-labour-intensive.
Make a white sauce; make a tomato sauce; make your veggie filling; layer, layer, layer.
None of these things are particularly difficult on their own, but when you have to do them all simultaneously, it can become a bit of a headache. Even when it's all cooked and ready to serve, I still manage to make a mess - somehow cutting through several layers of pasta is too difficult for my stupid hands and I end up dragging an entire sheet of lasagne out from the middle of my beautifully layered dish (please tell me someone else does this too?).
All of this culminates in my life containing far less lasagne than I would like.
The solution: these creamy aubergine lasagne rolls. They're designed to make your lasagne-making experience a walk in the park.
The vegetable mixture is cooked up, and then a few big spoonfuls of ricotta are mixed right in - no white sauce to faff about with. I used passata straight out of the carton instead of simmering a tomato sauce for ages - by the time you've added all your other ingredients, you can't even tell.
And, my favourite part: instead of layering it all up, I made these adorable little lasagne rolls. They're about as much effort to put together as the layered version, but so much easier to serve - everyone gets their own little rolls, which you can scoop straight out of the pan with no trouble. No more sawing through al dente lasagne sheets!
Aren't they cute?
(No? Just me?)
The point is, this version was so much quicker and easier to make than normal lasagne. I definitely enjoy making lasagne on occasions when I have some time to spare, but this version is far more suitable for a weeknight.
I think I might be obsessed with lasagne rolls now. What's your favourite variety of lasagne - what should I try next?
- 1tbsp oil
- 1 small onion, sliced thinly
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium aubergine, diced or cut into thin strips
- Black pepper
- 125g ricotta
- ½ tablespoon sun-dried tomato pesto
- 175g fresh lasagne sheets
- 200g passata
- 75g fresh mozzarella, grated
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and add the onion, garlic and aubergine.
- Cook over a medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft. Season generously, and add the ricotta and pesto. Mix to combine.
- Cut the lasagne sheets into strips measuring around 3 inches wide - my lasagne came in 4 large sheets, so I just cut each sheet in half lengthwise to make 8 strips. You may decide to cut your sheets a bit differently, depending on how many you have / what shape they are.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of passata to the bottom of your baking dish (mine measured around 8 x 6 inches), and spread it around. This is just to stop the lasagne rolls from sticking.
- Spoon some of the aubergine mixture onto the end of one of the strips of lasagne (I had 8 strips of lasagne, so I used ⅛ of the mixture), and roll it up.
- Place into the baking dish seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining lasagne and aubergine. Pour over the remaining passata, and top with the grated mozzarella. Cover the dish with foil, and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes to crisp up the cheese.