fancy that!

you guys, i love when other people are willing to have phil and i round for dinner. it is NOT an easy task, and i am thoroughly impressed when folks insist on making the effort to prepare a, let's face it, pretty weird meal that we can all enjoy. of course, i love to cook. but sometimes it's nice to let someone else do it for you - or collaborate on something! phil's brother will and his fiancee josie had us over on sunday - we discussed the menu ahead of time, and it looked amazing. a spinach and goat's cheese lasagne with a vegan bechamel sauce. bechamel! so fancy! we all pitched in together to make this meal - it was a collaborative effort. and i have to say, i think the final product was lovely! it's been so long since i've had a pasta dish that didn't have a tomato-based sauce - was really nice to try a white sauce for a change. and the combination of spinach / goat's cheese / nutmeg was YUM. and look how pretty it is with a sprinkling of kale chips on top for decoration! adorable!

spinach & goat's cheese lasagne

serves 4

the particulars:

  • 1 pack of lasagne sheets
  • 2 packs of soft goat's cheese, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 bags of spinach, washed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup vegan bechamel sauce (1 cup rice milk, 4 tsp veg oil, 2 tbsp flour, salt, pepper, nutmeg)
  • salt and pepper
  1. preheat the oven to 350F / gas mark 4.
  2. heat the oil in a pan, peel and chop onion, then saute for 10 minutes. leave to cool.
  3. meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling salt water and strain. cook spinach in same salt water used for pasta. strain, then add to onions, stirring constantly. season.
  4. make the vegan bechamel sauce: heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. add the flour, stir it in quickly with a wooden spoon, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously, without coloring. remove from the heat, add a little of the milk, whisk it in to form a smooth mixture, then add the rest of the milk over medium heat, a little at a time, whisking well between each addition. bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring continuously, until thickened to a velvety consistency. remove from the heat, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and use while still warm.
  5. thinly slice goat's cheese, take an oven dish and layer lasagne, spinach and onions, goat's cheese, then bechamel until you have used all ingredients. finish with a layer of goat's cheese.
  6. cook in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the top layer is lightly browned and bubbly.

lesson learned: lasagne sheets are tricky guys. they like to stick together and cause a fuss. but gosh they are tasty!