It turns out that I lied on Monday. Despite saying that all I’d be eating this week would be ready-meals, I opened the freezer this morning to discover that I Only had some chilli in there. Lots of other stuff in the freezer including tons of different types of meat, so I decided to use up some chicken breasts to make a lasagne.
Chicken lasagne is much lighter than its beef mince counterpart, and the layers of spinach in this one gives the added bonus of having an extra vegetable. I also had some mascarpone in the freezer, hence the cheaters’ cheese sauce. I decided to replenish my freezer by making two and saving one for a later date – a great idea in principle, except I underestimated how little pasta I had! Therefore, my final layer had no lasagne sheets but I don’t think that really made too much of a difference.
I served it with garlic bread and peas. My dad always says that you have to follow “the pea law” when you eat lasagne, and I always feel like I’m disobeying him slightly when I have salad instead 🙂
Chicken and Spinach Lasagne
2 chicken breasts
3 large mushrooms
Any other herbs you fancy – I used a few grinds of an Italian herb Mill which A Man got for Christmas (shhh! Don’t tell him!)
1 tin tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
Fresh raw spinach
Lasagne sheets (dried or fresh makes little difference)
100g garlic and herb cream cheese (I used Le Roulé which was hanging round in my fridge)
100g grated hard cheese (I used a combination of cheddar and grana padano)
- Slice the chicken into thin, inch wide chunks and set aside.
- Wash and slice the leeks. Fry in a little olive oil on a medium-low heat. Chop in the mushrooms and pepper. Peel and core the parsnip and chop that in too. Fry until the veg begins to soften.
- Chop the sage finely and stir the herbs into the veg. Add the tinned tomatoes, purée, sugar, a good slug each of balsamic and worcestershire and some salt and pepper. Taste the sauce and adjust as necessary.
- Stir the chicken into the sauce and cover with a lid. Depending on how big your chicken pieces are, it shouldn’t take very long to cook through until white in the middle – mine was less than 10 minutes. Remove the lid to reduce the sauce slightly to your preferred thickness.
- Mix together the mascarpone, cream cheese, half of the grated cheese and the egg. Build the lasagne by first spreading a layer of the chicken mix on the bottom of the dish. Follow this with a layer of pasta, a thin layer of cheese sauce, a layer of raw spinach leaves and another layer of pasta. Repeat until your ingredients are used up, finishing with a layer of cheese sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese. Because I didn’t have enough pasta, my top layers were chicken – spinach – cheese with no pasta between them. Whoops!
- This can be baked immediately, chilled and baked the next day or frozen and baked whenever you need it. You can cook them from frozen, but it’s difficult to estimate a time-frame without knowing the size of your dish…
- Cook at 180OC/350OF/Gas mark 4 for around 30 – 45 minutes, or until piping hot in the middle and golden brown on the top.