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Vegetable Lasagne

Vegetable Lasagne

Serves 6

1 bunch English spinach, washed and stalks removed
200g packet instant lasagne sheets
2 tablespoons (20g) grated Parmesan cheese or low-fat cheddar cheese

Vegetable sauce:
2 teaspoons oil
2 medium onions (240g), chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
250g mushrooms, sliced
1 small green capsicum (100g), chopped
140g tub tomato paste
1 x 440g can mixed beans, rinsed and drained
1 x 440g can tomatoes, undrained and mashed
1 teaspoon mixed herbs

Cheese sauce:
20g poly or monounsaturated margarine
1 tablespoon plain flour
1.5 cups (375ml) low-fat milk
1/2 cup (60g) grated low-fat cheese
A pinch of ground nutmeg and freshly ground black pepper

1. Blanch or lightly steam the spinach until just wilted; drain well.
2. For the vegetable sauce, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add the mushrooms and capsicum and cook a further 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste, beans, tomatoes and herbs. Bring to a boil and simmer, partly covered, for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, for the cheese sauce, melt the margarine in a saucepan or a microwave bowl. Stir in the flour and cook 1 minute, stirring (for 30 seconds on High, in microwave). Remove from the heat. Gradually add the milk, stirring until smooth. Stir over medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens, or in microwave on High until boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, stir in the cheese, nutmeg and pepper.
4. To assemble, pour half the vegetable sauce over the base of a lasagne dish, rectangular slab pan or ovenproof dish (about 16cm x 28cm). Cover with a layer of lasagne sheets, then half the spinach. Spread a thin layer of cheese sauce over the spinach. Top with the remaining vegetable sauce and remaining spinach. Place over a layer of lasagne sheets and finish with the remaining cheese sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan or cheddar cheese.
5. Cover with aluminium foil and bake in a moderate oven (180C) for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for a further 30 minutes or until the top is beginning to brown.

* Cooking the Lasagne sheets a little before using helps soften them up.

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