Leek and Red Pepper Lasagne; prose or story?

Leeks are in season this time of year.

It’s both the time to plant them and the time to harvest them.

Actually, one can harvest them all winter but now is the time to finish them off before the weather warms and they bolt.

I haven’t planted them in this potager but they are inexpensive at the moment so we are eating lots of leeks.

I buy sausages rather than bulk sausage – again, because it’s the most practical.

When I want to use it as bulk sausage I just take it out of the casing: with a sharp knife slit the sausage casing down the length of the sausage. Open it like a book and Voila!

Like all (or at least, most) this makes enough for 4 – or for 2, twice.

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Leek and Red Pepper Lasagne

Even with no-cook noodles lasagne is a bit of work…. Luckily it’s also enough for 2 meals.

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta


  • 1518 sheets ‘no-cook’ lasagna noodles
  • 10oz (300gr) sausage, removed from casings
  • 2 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 3 large leeks, trimmed, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 8oz (250gr) mushrooms, trimmed, chopped
  • 15oz (450gr) whole tomatoes, peeled, chopped, juices reserved
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, 12oz, (360ml)
  • 1 cup (8oz, 250gr) ricotta cheese
  • 4oz, (120gr) fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 3/4 cup (3oz, 90gr) shredded mozzarella


  • Vegetables:
  • Sauté leeks and pepper in 1 tbs oil until tender, 7 – 10 minutes.
  • Meat Sauce:
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, leeks and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add paprika, chili powder and sauté briefly.
  • Add sausage and sauté, breaking it up as it browns.
  • Add tomatoes, juices, herbs to skillet.
  • Reduce heat and let simmer until needed.
  • Béchamel sauce:
  • In a medium saucepan heat the butter over low heat.
  • Add flour and stir with a whisk for 1 minute.
  • Add a little (1/4 cup) of the milk and whisk to combine.
  • Turn heat up to medium-high and keep adding milk, a little at a time and whisking. You should have added all of the milk in a minute or two.
  • When all of the milk is in bring to a boil, whisking.
  • Add ricotta, whisking until it melts and makes a thick sauce. Remove from heat.
  • To assemble:
  • in an oblong baking dish, 9 X 11 (22 X 27cm) or so… make the following layers:
  • 1/3 meat sauce
  • 3 – 4 lasagne noodles, break up if needed to get good coverage
  • 1/2 béchamel sauce
  • 3 – 4 lasagne noodles
  • 1/3 meat sauce
  • 3 – 4 lasagne noodles
  • 1/2 béchamel sauce
  • all of the pepper / leek mix
  • all of the fresh mozzarella
  • 3 – 4 lasagne noodles
  • 1/3 meat sauce
  • 3 – 4 lasagne noodles
  • all of the tomato sauce
  • Cover and bake 400F (200C) for 20 – 25 minutes, or until noodles are tender. Test in center with a sharp knife.
  • Uncover, sprinkle all of the shredded cheese  and bake 5 minutes longer.
  • Remove and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Cut into squares (or oblongs) and serve.


Use ground beef or turkey in place of sausage; onion in place of leeks.

Keywords: lasagne, lasagna, sausage, red pepper

Leek and Red Pepper Lasagne

We like leftovers.

I have a question for all of you who love books and reading:

Would you rather read a fast-paced book with mediocre prose?

Or a beautifully written book with with a thin story-line?

I will not ask your opinion on books that have grammatical errors….

My monthly book club meeting is tomorrow.

I fear I might be getting a reputation as an (ever-so-slightly) severe critic.

8 thoughts on “Leek and Red Pepper Lasagne; prose or story?”

  1. I like a fast paced book but I think life is too short to read a bad book and if I am not enjoying something I don’t hesitate in stopping mid book and finding something better

    • I have a personal 40 page rule (the book club has a 60 page rule) If I’m not into by then I quit. It doesn’t happen often, but yes, why waste time on something boring. Or use it for a sleeping pill lol

  2. I want a good story. I don’t care if it’s fast paced or not, but if it’s slow moving, it better be one of the best books I’ve ever read to keep my nose in it, or I’m done. I can forgive quite a bit if the story is excellent as well but again, if the story sucks, it’s gone. Also, I bought a book recently where, in the first four pages which were all past tense, the author used the word ‘had’ 200+ times. That’s almost a quarter of her word count for those four pages. There were other issues though I could have overlooked those, but by the time I got to the end of the fourth page, my eyes were crossed and I still had no sense of the story other than what the back blurb had given me which must have been written by someone else. So I bet I didn’t answer your question, but there you go.

    • I also need to like at least one character – or the story has to be riveting. Your book reminds of of 2 things – first, I had a speech teacher who said ‘okay’ every other word. No one in class listened to her – we were all to busy counting the number of times she said it.
      The other is something I heard from a fellow nerd ages ago – wiki has it:
      James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher

      Here is it with punctuation and italics for easier reading:

      James, while John had had “had”, had had “had had”; “had had” had had a better effect on the teacher.

  3. That lasagne dish looks fantastic! Clearly, we neeeeeeed to get some leeks next time we go to the vegetable store. (No winter leek garden here! It would be too tricky to hack through the still frozen solid ground to harvest them….)

    I’m sorry to be weighing in on your book club question too late. For me, that’s a no-brainer. I much prefer beautifully written with a thin story line over anything with mediocre writing – even if the story is stellar. (I’m also willing to read something with a good story and uneven writing – as long as there is more beautiful writing than mediocre. In fact, I just finished a book in that category.)

    You have a 40 page rule? You are much more generous than I. I have a 3 page rule. But I often break the rule and am willing to abort after the opening sentence.

    Hahahahaha! I love the had had sentence. Thank goodness you added the punctuation!

    • Three pages isn’t enough for me to accustom my brain to the writing style. Usually, after 40 I continue reading. Although if it’s truly awful and / or has grammar errors 3 pages is enough. I’d be interested in your impression of Milkman….. a master of the run-on sentence

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