Tag Archives: lasagne

Recipe: Sneaky Cauliflower Lasagne Sauce

Lasagne is one of those tried and tested family meals. It’s something everyone will happily tuck into and it’s perfect for sneaking a bit of extra veg into if you’ve got kids. I’ve taken things a step further; and for some think may be a step too far, but it’s just as delicious and a little bit healthier. Stick with me on this. I use blended cauliflower instead of béchamel sauce to make cauliflower lasagne sauce.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore béchamel sauce and find it to be incredibly easy to make and versatile. But, and here’s the big but. It’s just flour, butter, milk and seasoning and it doesn’t count as one of your five a day.

Over the weekend I made our current favourite lasagne. Generous portions of roasted butternut squash and parsnip, with handfuls of fresh baby spinach in a fresh tomato sauce, layered with lasagne sheets and topped with cauliflower sauce. It works, it really works and if you put enough cheese in it, it turns into an amazing lasagne-cauliflower cheese mash up.

Recipe: Sneaky Cauliflower Lasagne Sauce

Sneaky Cauliflower Lasagne Sauce

Sneak extra veg into your cooking with this delicious cauliflower lasagne sauce.

Ingredients
2 cauliflowers
400mls milk (I used semi skimmed)
200g mature cheddar cheese, grated
Salt & Pepper (chilli flakes & grated nutmeg optional)

Instructions
Chop up your heads of cauliflower, they don’t need to be in pretty florets as you’ll be blending them. Add as much stalk as you like, it’s full of flavour and very frugal. Boil or steam until cooked through.

Once cooked, drain and put into a blender (you may need to do this in batches). Season generously and add the milk, blend until smooth. If you want a smoother sauce you can pass it through a sieve at this point and/or add a little bit more milk.

Whilst the sauce is hot, stir through the cheese and taste. Add more seasoning if you feel it needs any. Layer the sauce into your lasagne as you would do with your normal white sauce.

Notes
You can add as much cheese to the sauce as you’d like. I haven’t added much at this point because I know I’ll be sprinkling more cheese on top of the lasagne when I cook it.
I sometimes add a spoon of soft cheese with garlic and herbs which give it a nice background flavour.
Try adding chilli flakes to add a bit of a kick, or a touch of grated nutmeg because it just works.

Recipe: Sneaky Cauliflower Lasagne Sauce

I think my cauliflower lasagne sauce has lots of potential. I can imagine it working really well in something like moussaka. It’s such a great way to sneak extra veg into your life.

This recipe could easily be adapted for vegans too. Just swap the milk for soy milk or similar and leave out the cheese.

Cauliflowers are incredibly cheap in the shops at the moment, so we’re cooking with them a lot. This would also work well with frozen cauliflower. But not broccoli, broccoli is a step too far!

Have you got any tips for sneaking veg into your family meals?

 

Recipe: Sneaky Cauliflower Lasagne Sauce

Kitchen Basics: Versatile Tomato Sauce

One of the staple dishes in our kitchen is a really simple tomato sauce. I make a batch almost fortnightly and it’s used in a few different ways, from spaghetti and meatballs, in lasagne, with baked vegetable dishes and topping pizzas, it’s so simple to do and the basis of so many meals it is one of the first things I’ll be teaching the boy to cook. Using some of good quality tinned tomatoes, I knocked up a batch of sauce for a quick and simple meal this week.

Versatile Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:
1 large onion (or two small ones) finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 bottle of passata
1 pod of tomato purée
1 teaspoon of oregano or mixed herbs
1 teaspoon of pesto, tomato pesto if you have it (optional)
Olive oil
Sugar
Salt & pepper

Method:
1. In a frying pan heat up a splosh of olive oil (about a tablespoon) and gently soften your finely chopped onion. Stir frequently until soft and then add your crushed garlic and warm through for a few minutes, don’t let it burn or it’ll go bitter.
2. Once your onion is soft, add the passata and warm through. While it’s bubbling away gently, add the tomato purée, herbs, pesto (optional) and salt and pepper. To balance out any bitterness from the tomato add a good pinch of sugar to taste.
3. Leave to simmer gently for ten minutes or so, stirring frequently.

To serve as I have done, toss through some cooked spaghetti and serve with meatballs and a sprinkle of cheese. Alternatively layer into your lasagne, or cook for longer until it thickens a bit more and use as a pizza topping.

tomato sauce

This tomato sauce is incredibly versatile and I know that even if I serve it just with some plain pasta it will be a meal the small boy will devour in one sitting. As it’s made from tomatoes it is one of his five a day and is probably healthier than what I could buy in a jar.

tomato sauce

I like to use good quality passata and purée where I can, you can tell by the colour, texture and flavour of the raw ingredient that anything you make with them will be tasty.