Switch up your usual pasta for Jamie Oliver's veggie lasagne recipe, made with layers of leek, fennel and Italian cheeses
"Being really single-minded in our commitment to drag out all the sweet deliciousness from fennel and leeks, this lasagne is an absolute cracker. Made and layered up with love, it’s a confident and classy centrepiece."
Total time: 2 hours 20 minutes, plus cooling
4 large leeks
3 bulbs of fennel
6 cloves of garlic
50g unsalted butter
1⁄2 a bunch of fresh thyme (15g)
125ml Soave white wine
75g plain flour
1.5 litres of whole milk
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
50g pecorino or Parmesan cheese
100g Taleggio cheese
400g dried lasagne sheets
125g ball of mozzarella cheese
100g Gorgonzola cheese
Trim and slice the leeks and fennel, then peel and finely chop the garlic. Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat, strip in most of the thyme leaves, then stir in the veg. Season, then fry for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Pour in the wine, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, or until soft and sweet, stirring regularly and adding splashes of water, if needed.
Stir in the flour for a few minutes, then gradually add the milk, a splash at a time, stirring constantly. Simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally. Finely grate in half the nutmeg. Remove from the heat, finely grate in half the pecorino, tear in half the Taleggio, and stir well. Taste and season to perfection with sea salt and black pepper, if needed, and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. To assemble, layer up the sauce and pasta sheets in a large baking dish, adding little bombs of mozzarella, Gorgonzola and the remaining Taleggio as you go, finishing with a final layer of sauce. Finely grate over the remaining pecorino and any other bits of cheese, then bake for 40 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Pick the remaining thyme leaves, toss in a little oil, and scatter over for the last five minutes. Leave to stand for 15 minutes, then dig in.
SAT FAT: 18g
Jamie Cooks Italy by Jamie Oliver is published by Penguin Random House © Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited (2018 Jamie Cooks Italy), photography: David Loftus.