this lasagne is truly euphoric. make one today, and then guard the recipe with your life. this is a meatless version which will surprise and astound you and perhaps make you famous or at least end long lonely nights feeling sad. whoever eats this may fall in love with you forever and even marry you, and if they don’t well, the next day there’s leftover lasagne, and that’s sort of like a lover who stayed the night.
the key to success is the cheese. DON’T use mozzarella which is flavorless and frankly tacky. use a good italian fontina or a swiss gruyère or a french comté.
1. make the sauce. sauté some garlic, herbs (thyme or oregano or something like that) and an onion in olive oil and a pinch of salt for a minute or two, until everything looks nice and glossy. add a around 2 table spoons of tomato paste and sizzle that up for a minute. then add 2 cans of whole tomatoes and smush the tomatoes with a fork. throw in a sugar cube & 1 cup of water and simmer for a long time, like an hour at least, stirring from time to time. after an hour or so, i give the sauce a whisking to break up the tomatoes one last time. a chunkyish sauce is good for lasagne.
2. my measurements are highly approximative here… you’ll first need to defrost a packet of frozen spinach and squeeze the water out of it. then, in a large bowl, mix 4 cups of fresh ricotta with 3 eggs and salt &pepper. add the spinach and mix well. grate 1lb of cheese….here in Paris i most often use swiss gruyère, but really an italian fontina is the ideal choice.
3. make the lasagne. remember, sauce first, then noodles (the oven cook kind are fantastic of course), then ricotta mixture, then sauce, then grated cheese…..repeat until you reach capacity and finish with grated cheese, adding a splash of parmesan.
4. bake at 400 for 45 min or so, until it looks sexy, bubbling and golden brown.
5. pop open a meaty red and go to town…..