This is a wonderful dish which will fully justify the effort involved.
550g (1¼lb) fresh pasta verde dough or 1lb
(450g) dried green
1.5kg (3lb) spinach
1 egg, lightly beaten (for the spinach)
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
150g (5oz) freshly grated Parmesan
freshly grated nutmeg
2 large aubergines
2 eggs, lightly beaten (for coating the vegetables)
100g (4oz) white flour
2 large courgettes
300g (11oz) fresh oyster mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms,
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp parsley
double quantity tomato sauce
300g (11oz) fontina or Taleggio cheese
7 eggs, lightly beaten (for assembling the lasagne)
salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. To make the
lasagne, roll out the pasta dough (if using fresh) on a lightly
floured surface to make a single sheet 3mm (less than ¼in)
thick. Cut into rectangles about 10 x 20cm (4 x 8in) in size. Cook
the fresh or dried pasta, adding the pieces one by one to boiling
water to which you have added salt and 1 tablespoon oil. Allow
5 minutes cooking time for fresh pasta, 8–10 minutes for dried.
Carefully remove the pasta and pat dry on clean tea towels.
To make the spinach balls, cook the spinach in water
until tender, drain and chop. Mix the spinach with 1 tablespoon
beaten egg, the breadcrumbs and 25g (1oz) of the Parmesan.
Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands, shape
the spinach mixture into walnut-sized balls. Heat enough oil to
deep-fry the spinach balls, until lightly browned on all sides.
To prepare the aubergines, slice them lengthways
into5mm(¼in) slices, then put half of the 2 beaten eggs in a dish.
Dip the aubergine into the flour, then the eggs. Heat enough oil
to deep-fry the aubergine, until golden. Remove the aubergines
from the heat and prepare the courgettes in the same way,
dipping them into flour and beaten egg, then deep-frying.
To prepare the mushrooms, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a
frying pan, add the mushroom slices and fry briefly. Chop and
stir in the garlic and parsley, with salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble, put 3–4 tablespoons of tomato sauce in
a baking dish. Cover with a layer of pasta, then add a layer each
of the mushrooms, courgettes, aubergine and spinach balls.
Add some chunks of the fontina or Taleggio cheese. Now add
3–4 tablespoons tomato sauce, 3–4 tablespoons of the 7 beaten
eggs, and a sprinkle of the remaining Parmesan. Starting with
another layer of pasta, repeat the layers until the ingredients
are all used, finishing with a layer of vegetables and cheeses.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes and serve.