Ali Matteini

a life creative

My Cucina Toscana: Super (almost) Vegetarian Lasagne

I hope everyone had a joyful Christmas and NewYear and that between the celebration you’ve had time to relax and find a little space to breathe out.

I don’t know how you feel, but I find the days between Christmas Day and New Year a neat paradox of reflection and force-feeding. I love the social time but I’m always so ready to jump into the new year get back into writing and jewellery-making (and exercise).

I find this space between a great time to sort the wheat from the chaff – to discern what is important, what I need to release and what is worth keeping, be it from the soul or the refrigerator.

Speaking of the fridge…The first recipe for 2016 kicks off with lasagne and this version uses the leftover goodies from the last few days of dinner parties. It’s loaded with vegetables, mascarpone and ricotta, and pancetta left from New Year. You can omit the meat for a vegetarian version (not vegan, sorry; a girl’s gotta eat her ricotta and cream from time to time).



8 sheets lasagne*
1 cup stock
1 tbspn olive oil
1/4 cup pancetta, diced
1 tightly packed cup fresh spinach, shredded
1 cup raw pumpkin, cubed
1 carrot, spiralised**
1 small zucchini, spiralised**
1 large stick celery diced
1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
3 small fresh roma tomatoes, sliced
5 green destoned olives, sliced
ready-made bescamella
1 tbspn mascarpone
3 tbspn ricotta
1 teaspoon sage
1/4 tspn nutmeg
lemon rind of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 teaspoon thyme
*If you’re not using fresh lasagne sheets, boil some water and add sheets, two at a time, for a minute immediately before using.
**If you don’t own a spiraliser, such as the one above, you can also use a peeler to whittle down the veg. Or slice the carrot and zucchini but cook until tender before adding to the dish.


Preheat the oven to 200°C (not fan forced).
Boil celery in stock for 10 minutes. Remove celery but keep stock aside.
Heat pan and add pancetta, brown, add pumpkin, stir, add spinach and stir well.


Add retained stock, cover and cook on med heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add ricotta, sage, nutmeg and pepper, stirring well. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, add celery to chopped artichokes and mascarpone, add pepper, stir and set aside.

Grease a lasagne tray and lay softened lasagne sheets over bottom of tray. Spoon over the pumpkin ricotta mix and smooth out.
Add about 3 tablespoons of bescemella and then layer with new sheets of lasagne.
For the next level spoon over the celery mix, top with carrot and zucchini (leaving some aside for the top layer), repeat the bescemella and top with lasagne sheets again. For the top, cover with bescemella, then place tomatoes over that, followed by olives, carrots and zucchini, lemon rind, pepper, thyme and garlic.


Pop in the oven for 30 minutes, allow to rest for 10 minutes after cooking before serving.


We had this absolute joy for lunch with a glass of Morellino di Scansano…though what you see pictured is The Etruscan’s beer in a wine glass. All class.


Diet starts…most likely never.
Cheers & Ciao, and Happy New Year
Ali xxx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Recent Posts


What’s Happening on Monte Amiata:

Follow Ali Matteini on

Enter your email address for creative updates straight to your inbox. Spam free zone!

Join 906 other followers

Blogs I Follow

Flag Counter
for wordpress
Tours Truly, Tuscany

custom retreats and workshops in tuscany

A Ciência nas Coisas

Fatos e Curiosidades sobre a Natureza e tecnologia


"per l' allegria il pianeta nostro è poco attrezzato. Bisogna strappare la gioia ai giorni futuri "

The Artistry

by Isabelle Warren

the poet's billow

a resource for moving poetry

Two Twitch A Tale

Linking collage work to the meaning of personal and universal symbols.

At Home in Florence: Italian Renovations

This is my adventurous story about buying, designing, and renovating homes in ITALY


guardian of irish mythology

Dirty, Naked & Happy

is currently taking a break from blogging x

Gathering just-a-bit-o moss

Attempting not to make too little or too much sense


I help you unlock the peace and strength already within you

Tara Sparling writes

Book Humour. A Sideways Perspective on the Bonkers Business of Books


"C’è molta speranza, ma nessuna per noi." (Franz Kafka)

A Holistic Journey

Finding my way back out of motherhood -- while mothering


Expatty-cakes: Diary of an American southerner turned expat

Grand adventures and global wanderings. Next stop: Italy.

Martin Diotte

Creative Artist


Discover the truth about mental health

La Audacia de Aquiles

"El Mundo Visible es Sólo un Pretexto" / "The Visible World is Just a Pretext".-

Lady Of The Cakes

Vignettes from a multi-lingual, multi-cake-eating freelance existence


Eyes ten degrees above the horizon

Crafted in Carhartt

about women who do amazing things

Fugitive Fragments

by Mike McGuire

Tricia Drammeh

A Creative State of Mind

elizabeth frattaroli

Writing for Children and Young Adults #amwriting

Jane Dougherty Writes

About fantastical places and other stuff

Lucy's Light

Underground Energy - Scientific Documentation of the failures of an OCD albatross + friends


A topnotch site

Blood On Borrowed Wings

I write, I love, I run, I play, I break things.


In the Groove...

Interno Poesia

Blog e progetto editoriale di poesia

Poesy plus Polemics

Words of Wonder, Worry and Whimsy

Lasciatemi Pensare.

se non sarò serena, mi rasserenerò

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Vonj Productions

Bringing you love through spirit!

A Mirror Obscura,

Poetry, musings and sightings from where the country changes

Aisha's Oasis

A peaceful place to relax while on my wild joyride to Egypt from South Carolina.

The Perfect Nose

Sewing, illustration and design.

%d bloggers like this: