Mains

My lasagne

I don’t know about you, but every time I make lasagne, I make it slightly different. However, I’ve made this recipe a few times and gets the seal of approval all the time, even by my little 1 year old. There’s a few steps involved, but nothing complex! Give it a try, is worth every mouthful! 🙂

Type: main

Time: about 2 to 2.5h

difficulty: 2 pans

serves: 3

What you need:

1/2 cup green lentils (or 1 can)

1 roasted red pepper

1/2 aubergine, chopped into small chunks

4-5 closed cup mushrooms, finely chopped

1/2 courgette, chopped into small chunks

1/2 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

a handful of baby spinach

1 tsp each of: paprika, smoked paprika, vegetable bouillon, cumin and hot chilli

1 tbsp mixed herbs (for example: oregano & basil)

1 can chopped tomatoes

unsweetened soya milk (about 200ml)

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp olive oil or vegetable spread

1-2 tbsp flour

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

salt and pepper to taste

lasagne sheets (about 9)

1 block of vegan cheese (optional)

Utensils:

1 large & 1 small pan

sieve

balloon wire whisk

1 large frying pan

2 baking trays

knife and chopping board

mixing spoons

grater

Directions:

Step one- Lentils: if cooking from scratch, soak lentils in water for about 1h; then, using a sieve, thoroughly rinse lentils under running water. Transfer into a pan and cover with about 3 times more water than lentils and cook in low heat for about 20-30 minutes, uncovered- lentils should be soft when cooked- drain water.

Step two- roasted pepper: while lentils are cooking, cut red pepper in half, remove seeds and place in a baking tray; roast for about 30 minutes in 200 degrees Celsius and turn to the other side halfway- it is roasted when the skin starts to crinkle and has black stains. Remove from the oven, let it cool for a few minutes and when ready peel the skin off (if well roasted it will come off easily); Cut into thin slices and reserve.

vegan white sauce (bechamel): in a small pan, heat olive oil (or melt vegetable spread) over low heat and once hot add flour, mixing all rapidly; add soya milk little by little, mixing all well; as the milk heats up, the sauce will thicken up a little (you might want to use a balloon wire whisk for this). Add garlic powder, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat- it will thicken even more as it cools down.

Lasagne filling: Transfer onion, garlic, aubergine, courgette into a large frying pan, add a little water and cook over low/medium heat for a few minutes until all vegetables are soft (you can cover with lid while vegetables are cooking); add lentils and all the spices and herbs, mix well and let it cook for another 3 minutes; add chopped tomatoes mix and cook for another 5 minutes; taste and add a little salt if using and a little more of any of the spices if necessary.

Putting it all together: in a large baking tray start with a layer of filling, followed by sliced roasted pepper and finally pasta- that’s first section done. For the second, add another layer of filling and top it up with fresh baby spinach, white sauce and finally pasta. For the next section add the rest of the filling and more baby spinach, another 3 sheets of pasta and finalise with the rest of the white sauce, topped with shredded vegan cheese if using. Bake it at 200 degrees Celsius until all cheese is melted and the top has a nice and golden colour (about 20 minutes). Job done!

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