Saturday, June 14, 2014

Weekend Cooking: Ratatouille Lasagne

Leftovers! I love them. Love the fact that you don't have to worry about dinner for another night, or that you have lunch for the next few days. What I don't have is any imagination about doing anything different with those leftovers. Even when you read a foodie magazine and they say that you can make this with the leftovers it never really catches my attention because a lot of the time that still feels a lot like cooking a whole other meal rather than just shoving a plate in the microwave. The other day though I saw a recipe for Ratatouille Lasagne and realised that had I found a recipe to try that means I am making a deliberate decision to make something with a plan to do something with the leftovers.

I have posted before about ratatouille and cous cous being one of my favourite meals.  I don't find it possible to make just a small amount of ratatouille. There is always a ton of leftovers and so I usually end up eating it for lunch and/or dinner for several days afterwards and then, after having eaten it for days on end, I don't actually need to eat it again for a couple of months.

Rather than posting both the ratatouille recipe and the lasagne recipe here I will just link to the ratatouille recipe on the Taste website. In terms of the ratatouille recipe itself, I thought it was good served up with lamb steaks and cous cous but my "chuck whatever you have in a pot" version is probably a little tastier. However, when I cooked it up into the lasagne, I did think that this version worked well. It is relatively easy to do and quite tasty. I expect I will make this recipe again next time I make my own version, especially seeing as it was also a winner with the teenage boy in the house.

Ratatouille Lasagne 

60g butter
50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
1L (4 cups) milk
70g (1 cup) finely grated parmesan
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 x 250g pkt dried lasagne sheets
1/2 quantity of Ratatouille (recipe link above)
250g mozzarella, sliced
Mixed salad leaves, to serve

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until foaming. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture bubbles and begins to come away from the side of the pan. Remove from heat.

2. Gradually add half the milk, whisking constantly with a balloon whisk until smooth. Gradually add the remaining milk, whisking until smooth and combined.

3. Place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in parmesan. Season with salt, nutmeg and cayenne pepper.

4. Preheat oven to 180°C. Spread one-third of the sauce over the base of a 3L (12-cup) capacity rectangular baking dish. Top with half the lasagne sheets. Top with half the ratatouille. Continue layering with remaining sauce, lasagne sheets and ratatouille. Top with the mozzarella.

5. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden. Set aside for 10 minutes to stand. Serve with mixed salad leaves.

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  1. Ooh yes, this sounds excellent.
    I've been making ratatouille for years (with same delicious leftovers as you) but *doh* had never thought of making a bigger batch so that I could make lasagne.
    I have a wonderful recipe for vegetarian lasagne which includes eggplant, capsicum, mushrooms, but it's a lot of work and I only do it for special occasions. Using LO ratatouille looks like a great tasting alternative.
    BTW my ratatouille recipe is the one that's in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the secret is to scorch/peel the capsicums, and to cook everything separately before assembling it to bake it, so that nothing goes mushy. Also, the Taste recipe doesn't salt the eggplants first to get rid of any bitterness either. One way round this if time poor is to buy jars of eggplants & capsicum from the supermarket or a deli, as long as it's not flavoured too much it should work fine. (Though it's cheaper to do batches of these yourself and just store them in oil in the fridge).

  2. Oh what an awesome way to repurpose leftover ratatouille. I must, must, must make this a little later in the summer when eggplant appears at the farmer's market. YUMMMMMMM

  3. YUM! Two favourites combined, can't really go wrong :)

  4. Hi Marg, I just popped in to see if you're joining Paris in July this year. Maybe your next post will be related to something french, like this recipe is :) Hope to see you soon.

  5. That looks like a yummy lasagna. I just got thru Tim Winton's latest novel and I thought of you and wondered what people are saying about it there. I don't think it matches his others ... cheers.