With some minor prep, this simple summer lasagne almost makes itself just layer it up and slide it into the oven
When June arrives, I want to be out of the kitchen as much as possible. That’s not to say I don’t cook, but I want to spend the least possible time in the kitchen, so I can make the most of the long evenings outside with my family and friends. All routes point towards dishes that require little to no prep, which to my mind means either salads or bung-it-in-the-oven dishes, such as this pasta bake. It takes 15 minutes to put together, and uses good, flavourful, pre-prepared ingredients such as miso, sun-dried tomato paste and passata. As a bonus, it feeds a crowd, too.
Baked pasta with miso, sweet potato and spinach
Make sure that the non-dairy milk you use for the white sauce isn’t sweetened.
Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 30 min
750g sweet potato (ie, about 3), peeled and cut into 1cm-thick rounds
1 x 680g bottle passata
150g sun-dried tomato paste
½ tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp brown miso
750ml unsweetened non-dairy milk
5 tbsp cornflour
250g wholewheat lasagne sheets
250g young spinach
75g panko breadcrumbs
Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Put the slices of sweet potato on a baking tray, add a tablespoon of oil and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and toss to coat. Arrange on the tray in a single layer, then roast for 20 minutes, until just softening in the middle.
Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Put the passata, sun-dried tomato paste, chilli powder, garlic and half a teaspoon of salt in a blender, then blitz smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
For the white sauce, heat the miso in a saucepan, slowly whisk in the milk, bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Put the cornflour in a small bowl, stir in four tablespoons of the hot milk mixture to make a thin paste, then slowly whisk this back into the milk pan. Pop the pan back on a low heat for a few minutes, stirring until the sauce thickens to the consistency of custard, then season with a quarter-teaspoon of salt and turn off the heat.
To build the lasagne, spread a ladleful of tomato sauce over the base of a 34cm roasting tray, then add a layer of lasagne sheets, followed by, in order, a third of the white sauce, half the spinach, half the sweet potato and half the tomato sauce. Top with another layer of lasagne sheets, then another third of the white sauce, followed by the remaining spinach, sweet potato and tomato sauce. Top with the last of the lasagne sheets and finish with final third of the white sauce.
Scatter the breadcrumbs over the top and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the pasta is tender and the top bubbling and golden brown. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, then serve hot, perhaps with a green salad alongside.
Read more: www.theguardian.com