Seriously, why have I never thought about making this before? It’s elegant and sophisticated but only takes 20 minutes. Perfect for a date night meal in for two… Although mine ended up being a date night meal in for one — Jamie was out with his friend watching the Arsenal game yesterday. His loss… and Arsenal’s, 4 nil to Liverpool apparently.
Anyway, I’ll be making it again for Jamie soon because it was pretty special and there was something a little sad about me eating it on my own. It’s the sort of dish you want the person you’ve made it for, to roll their eyes into the back of their head and start groaning incomprehensible sex noises at you… So maybe don’t make it for your mum. Just kidding, it’s not THAT good but the thing that makes this dish, isn’t the garlicky mushrooms or the perfect paring of spinach and ricotta, it’s the truffle oil and capers. Truffle oil can be quite a rich, overpowering flavour but team it with fresh, zingy capers and it balances out nicely. Now you’ll have to excuse me, I have a very hungover boyfriend who needs my attention and an urgent fondant fancy.
Open spinach & mushroom lasagne
Serves 2 / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 20 mins / V
3 sheets of fresh pasta, cut in half to make 6 squares
250g chestnut mushrooms, de-stalked and roughly sliced
3 tsp truffle oil (I use Pomora)
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
Handful of fresh thyme sprigs (the bigger the better, as you’ll need to fish them out of the mixture later)
150g vegetarian ricotta*
Parmesan* or vegetarian Italian hard cheese shavings
2 tsp capers
*Ricotta is traditionally made with animal rennet but you can get vegetarian varieties. UK supermarket home brands tend to be, click here.
* Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.
TIP: Wrap up any fresh pasta sheets you don’t use and freeze. Use within 3 months and defrost thoroughly before use.
1. Take the fresh lasagne sheets and cut them in half creating 6 squares. Place in a saucepan and put to one side and pre-boil a kettle ready for later.
2. De-stalk and roughly chop the mushrooms and put to one side. In a large saucepan or cooking pot add a tsp of Pomora truffle oil, the crushed garlic and the fresh thyme. Cook on a medium to high heat for one minute before adding the mushrooms (if it gets a bit hot, add a dash of water to prevent from burning). Sweat for 5 more minutes and season well with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium.
3. Once the mushrooms start to soften, add the spinach in handfuls of two. Mix in and allow to wilt before adding more handfuls. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Meanwhile, use this time to shave your parmesan. Once all the spinach has wilted, season again with salt and pepper and give it a good mix. Take off the heat and put the lid on to keep warm.
4. Boil the lasagne sheets in a saucepan for 3-4 minutes and then drain. Drizzle with a little bit of truffle oil and mix carefully with a spoon to prevent the sheets sticking together.
5. Assemble your lasagne by placing one sheet of pasta on each plate and top with a teaspoon of ricotta. Uncover the mushroom mixture and discard the thyme stalks (you my notice a bit of liquid at the bottom of the pot, to prevent the lasagne becoming too wet, use a slotted spoon). Top each lasagne sheet with a spoonful of the mushroom mixture. Add another layer of pasta, a teaspoon of ricotta and yet another spoon of the mushroom mixture. Top with the final pasta layer, a good dollop of ricotta and the last bit of the mushroom mixture.
6. Finally top with a teaspoon of capers, parmesan shavings, a good drizzle of truffle oil and a good crack of salt and pepper.
If you’ve had a go at making my open lasagne or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org