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Aubergine, Sweetcorn &
Fresh Herb Lasagne



Aubergine, Sweetcorn &

Fresh Herb Lasagne


I love a good lasagne, and it is always a firm favourite in our house. It is generally the meal I make when I am wanting to feed a large number of people, or when I feel the need for a comforting home-cooked dinner to bring the family together. 

However, it is one of those dishes you want to cook when you have a lazy day spare so you can be present in the gentle warmth of your kitchen. If you take the time to enjoy the process of preparing each element and layering them all together, before you know it your home will be filled with smells of comfort, cheesy goodness, and the promise of a warm satisfying meal to look forward to. 

This particular lasagne recipe makes the most of late summer / early autumn produce, and the combination of silky aubergine with rich tomato, sweet juicy corn and cheese sauce is always a winner. 

There are also a lot of herbs in here - I use a layer of fresh basil on top of the aubergine slices, finely chopped Italian parsley in the corn layer and fresh thyme in the tomato sauce, but feel free to use whatever herbs you have on hand. You could use spinach leaves instead of basil, fresh mint or coriander instead of Italian parsley, and oregano or rosemary instead of thyme. Just go with what is available and the flavours you like. 

The ingredient list is long and there are a lot of different elements in this lasagne, so it does take a bit of foresight and preparation to make. Be sure to read through the recipe before you begin, remembering that this is slow cooking at its finest, and the end result will be worth every minute. 


Serves 6 - 8 


For the aubergine layer 

  • 2 medium aubergines 

  • ½ teaspoon salt 

  • ½ cup rice bran oil or similar 

  • 1 packed cup large basil leaves 


For the tomato sauce  

  • 1 kilo fresh tomatoes, chopped, OR 3 tins of chopped tomatoes (optional - if you are using fresh tomatoes and would like a silkier sauce, you can skin them first – see note at the bottom of this recipe) 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 

  • 1 small onion, finely diced 

  • 1 large clove garlic 

  • 1 – 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped 

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar OR coconut sugar 


For the corn layer 

  • 2 ½ cups frozen corn, refreshed in cold water OR fresh corn kernels which have been removed from the cob 

  • 1 small red onion, finely diced 

  • 1 packed cup chopped Italian parsley 

  • ½ cup sour cream OR unsweetened Greek yoghurt 

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 

  • 100 grams / 1 cup tasty cheese, grated 


For the cheese sauce  

  • 50 grams butter 

  • ¼ cup flour 

  • 2 cups milk 

  • 100 grams / 1 cup cheese, grated – choose a good melting cheese such as Colby  

  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric 

  • ½ teaspoon salt 

  • Freshly cracked black pepper 

For the topping and assembly 

  • 9 – 12 black kalamata olives, pips removed 

  • 100 grams / 1 cup grated cheese - I like tasty here but feel free to use a milder cheese if you prefer 

  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika 

  • 250 gram dried lasagne sheets such as San Remo or similar 



  1. Slice the aubergines into 1 cm slices, and layer them in a colander with the salt. Place the colander over a bowl and set aside for 30 minutes or so to draw the moisture out. While you wait make the tomato sauce. 

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan and gently sauté the onions for a few minutes, seasoning with a bit of sea salt. Add the garlic and thyme and continue sautéing until the onions are soft and translucent. 

  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and slowly bring to a rolling simmer, stirring. Cook for 10 –12 minutes, or until the tomatoes are cooked and the sauce has thickened slightly and come together. If using tinned tomatoes, you may like to add ½ tin or so of water as they are cooking to ensure the sauce doesn’t get too dry. Stir in the sugar and season with salt and pepper, tasting and adjusting the amounts until you are happy with the flavour. 

  4. Now you will fry the aubergines. Heat half the rice bran oil up in a large frying pan. Pat the aubergines dry with a paper towel or clean tea towel and place them into the hot oil in a single layer. You will need to fry them in two or three batches. Once they are nice and coloured, turn them and fry the other side. Don’t be afraid to give the aubergines a nice caramelisation as this will help to give a lovely rich flavour to the lasagne. Continue frying until all the slices are cooked, adding the remaining oil as needed, and draining them on paper towels as you go.  

  5. Make the corn filling. Place the corn, red onion, Italian parsley, sour cream or yoghurt, smoked paprika, cheese and a good pinch of salt and pepper into a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside to make the final element – the cheese sauce. 

  6. Heat a pot to medium heat and melt the butter. Add the flour and cook for a minute, stirring the whole time. Whisk the milk in, making sure you add it gradually so as to avoid the sauce going lumpy. Keep whisking until the sauce has thickened and is just beginning to bubble. Remove from the heat and add the grated cheese, turmeric, salt and cracked black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. 

  7. Assembly and cooking 

  8. Preheat oven to 190.C or 180.C fan bake 

  9. Use a serving spoon to ladle a bit of tomato sauce onto the bottom of large casserole dish. Spread it around so it covers the bottom, and lay one layer of pasta sheets on top, breaking them to fit if needed. I don’t worry too much if each layer isn’t completely covered in pasta - three sheets per layer is usually enough depending on the size of the dish you are using. 

  10. Spread the entire corn filling over the pasta, and then cover with the second layer of lasagne sheets.  

  11. Pour all the tomato sauce over this, then layer the aubergine slices over the top of the sauce, seasoning well with sea salt and cracked black pepper.  

  12. Cover with a layer of fresh basil leaves, and top with the final layer of lasagne sheets.  

  13. Spread the cheese sauce over the top to cover the pasta, sprinkle the extra cup of cheese over, and place the pitted kalamata olives evenly on top.  

  14. Sprinkle the smoked paprika on top of this and cover the dish tightly with tinfoil, ensuring the foil isn’t touching the sauce by creating a dome where it covers the dish – if you don’t do this it could stick to the topping, and you will lose the yummy crispy bits. 

  15. Place the lasagne in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. After this length of time, remove the tinfoil and move the lasagne to the top of the oven. Cook for another 10 - 15 minutes until the topping is bubbling and beginning to brown. 

  16. Remove the lasagne from the oven and allow it to sit for 10 minutes or so before serving. 

  17. Accompany with a simple salad and a rich glass of red if you are that way inclined. 


** If you would like to remove the tomato skins before making the sauce, scour a shallow cross on the bottom of each tomato with a sharp knife and place them into a heatproof bowl. Cover them with boiling water and leave to sit for 30 seconds or so. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and place them into a colander to drain. When cool enough to handle, peel the skins off the tomatoes and chop them up. 


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Aubergine, Sweetcorn & Fresh Herb Lasagne
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