If possible, use artichokes in brine – if yours are packed in oil, be sure to drain them very well. Serve with a simple rocket (arugula) salad, dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette.
This is a beautiful alternative to traditional lasagne. Using preserved artichokes, rather than preparing fresh ones, makes this dish very quick to assemble.
- olive oil cooking spray
- 350 g (12½ oz) artichoke hearts in brine
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 375 ml (1½ cups) thickened (whipping) cream (35 per cent fat)
- large handful of basil leaves, chopped
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz/3¼ cups) fresh or frozen baby peas
- 800 g (1 lb 12 oz/3¼ cups) firm fresh ricotta
- 100 g (3½ oz/1 cup) grated parmesan
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 375 g (13 oz) packet dried lasagne sheets
- 450 g (1 lb/3 cups) grated mozzarella
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (fan-forced). Spray a deep 20 cm × 30 cm (8 in × 12 in) baking dish with olive oil.
2. Drain the artichoke hearts, then cut into slices about 1-cm (½ in) thick. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with the pepper. Drizzle with 60 ml (¼ cup) of the cream, add half the basil and half the peas and gently mix together.
3. Place the remaining basil, peas and cream in a food processor. Add the ricotta, parmesan, eggs and salt and purée until smooth.
4. Spread about 1 cup of the ricotta mixture over the bottom of the baking dish, then cover with a layer of the lasagne sheets. Spread half the artichoke mixture over the top, followed by another 2 cups of the ricotta mixture and one-third of the mozzarella.
5. Top with another layer of lasagne sheets. Spread the remaining artichoke mixture over the top, then most of the ricotta mixture, and another one-third of the mozzarella. Add a final layer of lasagne sheets, then the remaining ricotta mixture and mozzarella.
6. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes, or until the lasagne is cooked through and the cheesy topping is golden brown.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 20 minutes before serving.
Recipe from Eat Plants, Be Happy by Caroline Griffiths and Vicki Valsamis, Smith Street Books, RRP$39.99