Beany Business:
- easy lasagna recipe with borlotti and cheese

STEPS 6 INGREDIENTS 15 (inc. salt etc.) TIME 1 HR

I love beans. Of every color and type. So when I spied an easy lasagna recipe on the Taste of Home website that was packed full of them, it didn't take me long to stock up on ingredients and get busy.

easy lasagna recipe

Of course, not living in the US myself, I couldn't find all the mainly American ingredients on the list. I don't have a clue about 'black beans' for example, but I sure do know my borlotti, so that was substitution 1.

I ended up substituting other ingredients too, such as Swiss gruyere cheese to replace the original recipe's Mexican cheese blend, simply because we had these and they needed using before they walked out the door!

So all in all I reckon we ended up changing the original recipe enough to include it as a semi-original lasagna recipe here. In fact, I'd suggest that this version is maybe a little healthier than the original, in that there's notably less cheese in it total. (Don't worry, it's still super tasty.)

Full of beany fibre, crispy baked cheese and rich tomato, this nutrituous easy lasagna recipe will, I hope, soon become one of your staple baked meals. It's certainly become one of ours!

Serves 8 (Too big? Just freeze the leftovers!)

Ingredients:

9 lasagna noodles/sheets (I used green spinach lasagna)

1 large red onion

2 whole garlic cloves

2x 14oz/400g cans borlotti or black beans

1 14oz/400g can diced/chopped tomatoes

4 eggs

8.8oz/250g ricotta cheese

1.75oz/50g parmesan cheese

8 ounces/225g shredded gruyere cheese (or your other medium-cheese favorite)

15g/0.5oz fresh parsley leaves

50g/1.75oz tomato purée/paste

8 fl oz/236ml water

3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Salt

Ground black pepper

STEP 1 - Our prep is simple:

- Peel and chop the onion into medium chunks (it needn't be super-finely chopped).

- De-end and peel the garlic cloves.

- Rinse and tear/chop the parsley leaves.

- Rinse and drain the beans.

- Grate the parmesan cheese.

STEP 2 - Pour the olive oil into a deep frying pan/skillet and on a medium heat hob add the garlic cloves and the chopped onion.

(Love garlic? - You can always peel and finely chop the garlic to throw in at this stage. Me, I prefer a more subtle garlic aroma.)

- Cover and fry on the same medium heat until the onions become soft (roughly 7-10 mins)

STEP 3 - Remove the garlic if using full cloves and add: rinsed beans, unrinsed can of chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, water, a full teaspoon of salt and a shake of black pepper.

- Turn up the heat slightly to bring this sauce to a boil. Then reduce heat to simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened (but still with some liquidity remaining - this helps the lasagna avoid becoming dry). Stir it regularly.

STEP 4 - While the sauce cooks away, in a small bowl to the side add the whites of the eggs (we're not using the yolks) and whip these slightly with a whisk or fork.

- Then stir in the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and torn/chopped parsley leaves.

STEP 5 - When the sauce is ready, now we can build the lasagna:

- Ideally you want a 30cm/13" x 20cm/9" baking dish. Lightly coat its base with olive oil; just dab a little on some kitchen paper to spread this around.

- Next, 'stain' the bottom of the dish with one cup or 2-3 heaped tablespoons of the sauce mixture.

- Now cover with 3 lasagna sheets (uncooked), a third of the ricotta mixture, a third of the remaining bean mixture and 2 tablespoons of grated gruyere/your other cheese.

- Repeat this layering process twice more - so that you have 4 layers of pasta all together with a final top layer of sauce and cheese.

STEP 6 - Cover the dish with aluminium foil and bake in the oven at 180C/350° for 15 minutes. Then uncover and bake for 10 minutes more to turn the cheese topping a little crispier.

Let your beany creation stand on the countertop, cooling and firming up, for 5-10 minutes before dividing into generous portions.

Done!

Liked this easy lasagna recipe? Then why not try...

Traditional meat lasagna

Balls of Beef meatball lasagna

Vegetarian lasagna with eggplant



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