Pic of Fennel and mushroom lasagne

Fennel and mushroom lasagne

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Vegetarian mains

Fennel and mushroom lasagne

Main Serves 2 1h 35 min
Slow-braised fennel lends a lovely sweetness to this vegetarian lasagne, so don't stint on the cooking time. If you want to make this for a midweek supper, get ahead by cooking the sauce the night before, then assemble the lasagne and finish the cooking the next evening. This freezes well.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, finely chopped, inner core removed and discarded
  • 100g mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
  • 75ml red wine
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • leaves from sprig of fresh thyme, or ½ tsp dried
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 250g mozzarella, sliced (donít use the denser, very stringy stuff used on pizzas; use the softer balls)
  • 250g ricotta
  • 125g lasagne sheets
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan or Pecorino, grated
  • salt and pepper

Method

Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 1h 20 min
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas 6.
  • Step 2

    In a heavy based pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add the fennel and cook, stirring every now and again, on a low to medium heat for 30-40 minutes, until soft and caramel coloured. Increase the heat, add the mushrooms and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft.
  • Step 3

    While the fennel is cooking, in another pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onion and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, until the onion is soft. Do not allow to burn. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  • Step 4

    Add the wine, increase the heat and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the herbs, tomatoes (add a little water too, about 50ml, swill the tin out with it to get all the tomatoes out), tomato purée and season.
  • Step 5

    Simmer until the fennel and mushrooms are ready. In a baking dish, spread a little of the tomato sauce over the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of lasagne sheets, then layer the fennel mixture, mozzarella and ricotta (use a teaspoon to dot the ricotta evenly), lasagne and tomato sauce, finishing with a layer of tomato sauce.
  • Step 6

    Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle over the Parmesan and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the lasagne is soft and the cheese has melted.