So last night’s dinner party was a real hit. The chicken was delicious and crispy, the roast potatoes weren’t as crispy as usual, but the inclusion of sweet potato was definitely a good idea, and the roasted carrots and zucchini were delicious. Dessert were the aforementioned brownies, a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and a handful of raspberries. In fact, it was all so good that I didn’t manage to take any photos before it all got vacuumed up. So next time. Until then you’ll just have to take my word for it: it was good.
So tonight’s dinner was created out of a handful of things that were leftover in my fridge and store cupboard. I’m that girl that can make a meal out of anything. I had butter, flour, milk, spinach, ricotta, some leftover salad from last night which I dubbed the Mediterranean Salad, some Serrano ham and some lasagne sheets. Hello Spinach & Ricotta Lasagne.
Spinach & ricotta is a fantastic combination. I’m trying to think what else I could use it in but to be honest the combination with the bechamel sauce is kind of amazing. You should also definitely have it with the salad, because the salad is divine. Serrano ham is sooo wonderful – I love it. Maybe I’m going all mediterranean on you because I’m going to Spain soon so I’m getting in the mood, but it’s still awesome any time. Oh yes, I’m going to Spain :D Happy times!
Anyway, eat. Enjoy.
SPINACH & RICOTTA LASAGNE
1 red onion, chopped finely
1 tbsp flour
2 1/2 tbsps butter
2 tsps ground nutmeg
Salt & pepper
1. Pre-heat the oven to about 200 degrees celsius.
2. Make the bechamel sauce first. Put 1 tbsp of butter in a saucepan over a low heat, and once melted add the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon. Be careful not to let it burn or your sauce will be bitter. When combined slowly add the milk, whisking as you go. Throw in the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper to taste and add the nutmeg. You know it’s ready when the sauce coats the back of the spoon.
3. Meanwhile put 1 tbsp butter into another pan and add the spinach. Stir to coat then put a lid on and allow to wilt down. When wilted, remove to a colander and let cool.
4. Meanwhile, put the remaining butter in a pan, add the onion and sautee until soft.
5. When cool, squeeze as much of the moisture out of the spinach with your hands as possible, then chop finely. In a bowl combine the spinach, ricotta and onion.
6. Assemble the lasagne by placing a layer of spinach, ricotta and onion on the base of a baking dish, then lasagne sheets, and then bechamel sauce. Place another layer of lasagne sheets on top of this and continue until you have no ricotta mixture left. On the top layer put bechamel sauce and then grate some parmesan on top.
7. Put in the oven and bake for about 40-50 mins.
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 slice serrano ham, roughly torn into a few pieces
Handful of olives
Some feta cheese, chopped into cubes
2 baby aubergine, chopped into bite-size pieces
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1. Put a little olive oil in a pan. When hot, throw the aubergine in and season with salt and pepper. Be careful not to put too much olive oil as aubergine soak it up like crazy.
2. Meanwhile combine all other ingredients in a bowl.
3. When the aubergine is cooked add it to the rest of the salad. Add a good splosh of olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper and toss well. You don’t need extra salt, as the salt from the serrano ham and the aubergine will be enough.
4. Serve alongside the lasagne, sit back and enjoy the explosion of flavours in your mouth.
That’s it for now. Some more stuff before the end of the week so until then – peace and love.