Having been fooled into thinking spring had arrived in March, we are all now shivering in this cold and wet April. So, time for some comfort food, says I!
This nutty lasagne is a delicious combination of flavours and an all round ‘comfy’ dish!
You will need:
- 350g/12oz spinach lasagne (pre-cooked sheets)
For the walnut & tomato sauce:
- 3 tbsp walnut oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 225g/8oz celeriac, finely chopped
- 1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
- 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
- ½ tsp sugar
- 115g/40z chopped walnuts
- 150ml/¼ pint Dubonnet (or cheap port if you prefer!)
For the spinach & Gruyère sauce:
- 75g/3oz flour
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1.2 litres/2pints milk
- 225g/8oz grates Gruyère cheese
- salt and pepper
- ground nutmeg
- 500g/1lb frozen spinach, thawed and puréed (or fresh, steamed and puréed)
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- First, make the walnut and tomato sauce. Heat the walnut oil and sauté the onion and celeriac. Cook for about 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, purée the tomatoes in a food processor. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for about one minute, then add the sugar, walnuts, tomatoes and Dubonnet. Season to taste. Simmer uncovered, for 25 minutes.
- To make the spinach and Gruyère sauce, melt the butter with the walnut oil and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the flour. Cook for another minute and add the mustard powder and milk, stirring vigorously. When the sauce has come to the boil, take off the heat and add three-quarters of the grated Gruyère. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Finally add the puréed spinach.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Layer the lasagne in an oven-proof dish. Start with a layer of spinach and Gruyère sauce, then add a little walnut and tomato sauce, then a layer of lasagne, and continue until the dish is full, ending with a layer of either sauce.
- Sprinkle the remaining Gruyère over the top of the dish, followed by the basil. Bake for 45 minutes.