Friday, 5 July 2013

Summer Lasagne

Summer is here, and it's baking! Stepping outside I almost feel like I'm on holiday. However, if my experience of British summertime is anything to go by, this wonderful weather is probably going to be short lived. So I'm going to make the most of it whilst it's here. And what better way to do that than alfresco dining? This recipe is perfect for just that. Light, rich in greens and clean, summer flavours - this is the perfect summer dish.

If you've scrolled down already, you may have noticed I've tried to do things a little differently this post. I have used VIDEOS! Or more accurately, mini "movies", as the only editing software I have of my computer is the stuff that comes free with Windows and that, apparently, is a "movie maker". So instead of photos depicting my afternoon fun I have five short blockbusters. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch so thanks to my brother and friend for helping me film.

Popcorn at the ready... here's my Summer Lasagne (serves 3 or 2 very hungry people)

5 sheets of lasagne
7 small spring onions, chopped into rings
1 big bulb of fennel, chopped as thinly as possible
300g asparagus
100g broad beans
1 glass of white wine
50g parmesan cheese, grated finely
1 small tub of single cream (285ml approx)
Zest of 1 lemon, grated finely
A handful of fresh parsley, chopped finely
A handful of fennel leaves, chopped finely
1 tbps olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Start by brushing each sheet of lasagne with oil (to stop them sticking to each other as they cook), and snapping each in half. Add to boiling salted water to cook as you would normal pasta. Fish out the pasta using tongs, or alternatively you can drain the lasagne sheets as you would normal pasta. They will finish cooking about the same time as the sauce.

Prepare the asparagus by bending each one and letting the tough end naturally snap off. Discard the tough end and wash the remaining part. Put the asparagus on to cook in a pan of boiling salted water. After about 2 minutes add your frozen broad beans. Cook for further 3 minutes and drain.

Next, heat the oil in a pan, and start cooking the onions gently for about 2 minutes. Add the wine and let it reduce for about 5 minutes. Add the fennel and season. Let this cook for 2 minutes. 

Then add the cream, and let it reduce a little. Mix in the lemon zest and parmesan, followed by the fresh herbs. (I have used parsley and fennel leaves because I had these in abundance, you can really use any soft herbs you like or have around.) Finally mix in the cooked asparagus and broad beans and you’re now ready to assemble. 

To assemble this summer lasagne, start with a square of lasagne, followed by a layer of sauce making sure to get some asparagus too, then top with another sheet of pasta. I did 3 layers per person, finishing with an asparagus on top. This was a good amount for lunch, but for dinner you could easily add another layer.

And there you have it, simple and delicious summer lasagne. I hope you've enjoyed the videos and more importantly the delicious recipe!

// Click here to PRINT RECIPE //

Until next time...