Four cheese and spinach lasagne

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 dry pieces of lasagne (not no-boil)
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (285g) box frozen spinach, thawed
  • 450g cottage cheese
  • 115g fresh goat's cheese, softened
  • 25g freshly grated Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, or a combination
  • 450g pre-shredded mozzarella, shredded
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 950ml tomato sauce, recipe follows, or your favourite jarred
  • For the tomato sauce with basil
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 (795g) tins whole peeled tomatoes, with juices
  • 30g basil leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
1) For the tomato sauce with basil: Put the olive oil and garlic in a saucepan and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and salt. Break up the tomatoes into small chunks with a wooden spoon and bring to a boil over high heat, lower heat to a brisk simmer, and cook until thickened, about 30 to 40 minutes. While sauce cooks, tear basil leaves into small pieces. Remove the sauce from the heat, stir in the basil, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.

2) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.

3) Bring a large pan of water to a boil over high heat and salt it generously. Add the lasagne and boil, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

4) Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat until the garlic begins to brown. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper and stir until the spinach dries out and the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Cool.

5) Mix the cottage cheese, goat's cheese, Parmesan/Pecorino, 225g of the mozzarella cheese, lemon zest, nutmeg, cayenne, and cooled spinach in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the egg.

6) Cover the bottom of a 23 x 33cm casserole with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Cover with 3 of the lasagne pieces placed side-to-side, but not overlapping. Top with a 1/4 of the cheese mixture and about 120ml of tomato sauce. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Repeat to make 2 more layers. Finish with three pieces of lasagne then dollop remaining cheese mixture on top. Drizzle with remaining tomato sauce, then scatter the remaining 225g mozzarella on top. Bake, uncovered, until the lasagne is hot and bubbly, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let lasagne stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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