I’ve been wanting to make one of these for a while, but haven’t seen leaf spinach in the shop for a few weeks. When I went in yesterday, there was a whole stash of the stuff so I stocked up and bought some really nice young, fresh mushrooms too.

Along with mushrooms and spinach, I bought:

  • Mushrooms (1,89€)
  • Garlic (0,29€)
  • Biscuits (1,25€)
  • Grated Emmental for the congenitally slothful (2,80€)
  • Olives (0,58€)
  • Lettuce (1,30€)
  • Butter (2,25€)
  • Spinach (1,43€)
  • Onions (0,60€)

This morning, I popped out and bought:

  • One litre organic full-fat milk (1,49€)
  • A 20cl tub of crème fraîche (0,99€)
  • A baguette (1,10€)

I copied this from the friend with the vegetarian daughters and love it. In fact, I very rarely make a lasagne with meat because everyone (I know) can eat this and that’s the whole point of food. When I mentioned this yesterday, the friend who’s over from England declared she was coming to dinner, so I did my best.

For the “filling”:

  • One large red onion, roughly chopped
  • Four or five cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 150g (give or take) of fresh spinach, rinsed
  • 150g (give or take) of mushrooms, chopped roughly
  • One tin tomatoes, sliced in tin

For the “sauce”:

  • 2-3 tablespoons flour
  • 50g Butter
  • 500ml Milk
  • 150g Grated cheese
  • A dash of cumin

Start by making the filling. Fry the onions and garlic in some olive oil, then add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Season, then add the tomatoes and allow the sauce to simmer for a while. Get together the ingredients for the sauce, then rinse the spinach and add it to the top of the tomato sauce, salt, cover, and reduce the heat.

My bechamel sauce is random and I don’t follow a recipe, particularly. Soften around 50g of butter in a pan, then stir in two or three tablespoons of flour. According to my most critical friend, it is much easier if you sift your flour and measure things properly, but I just keep on stirring it and breaking the lumps apart until I have a roux of a consistency I like. Then, you can slowly add the milk – this, again, is easier if you warm the milk first – and stir it into submission. The roux will clump if you don’t do it properly, but that’s what wooden spoons are for. Keep stirring the sauce over a low heat until it starts to thicken, then season with and add a small dash of cumin. Stir, then add the cheese and stir.

Stir the spinach into the tomato sauce.

I think some people pre-cook their lasagne sheets, but I like to make my sauces slightly wet so that it’ll cook when it’s in the oven. Put a layer of lasagne on the bottom of your dish (so it doesn’t slop everywhere when you serve it) then a layer of filling, a layer of lasagne, a layer of bechamel and so on until you get to the top of the dish. This is probably wrong, but I like it.

Sprinkle some more cheese and grate some pepper over the top layer of sauce, then put on a high shelf in the oven – my oven has “on” and “off” settings – and cook until the top has browned.

A third of this fed two of us, and I have enough left over for a couple of days’ meals. It would happily feed four hungry people, and stretch to six.

Smug-person peaches
Smug-person peaches

For pudding, we had a bowl of peaches and a dollop of crème fraîche.

Pot is at 83,10€