Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Vegetarian Two Lentil Lasagne

Thought I'd try a lentil and soy mince lasagne tonight for meatless Monday.  I based the sauce on Jamie Oliver's Veggie con Chilli.  The kids were surprised to learn it didn't have meat in and it went down a treat so will be repeated...

Serves a hearty 4

Ragu Sauce 
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 large stick of celery, finely diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 glass of red wine
75g soya mince (optional - top the green lentils up to 125g if not using soya mince)
75g green lentils
125g red lentils
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
A small sprig of rosemary (optional)

White Sauce
600ml whole milk
2 heaped dessertspoons plain flour
1 large knob of butter
A pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt & pepper to season

12 sheets of lasagna
Strong cheddar cheese or parmesan

Pour the red wine over the soya mince whilst you prepare the vegetables.

Sweat the onion, carrot, & celery in a large saucepan together with the olive oil.  Once the onion begins to look a bit translucent add the garlic, stir round then add the tomato paste, stir round again then add the rest of the ragu ingredients plus 2 tins of recently boiled water.  Bring to the boil then simmer for 30 minutes.  Don't worry if it looks very watery at this stage, the lentils will absorb a lot of moisture, and you want a sloppy mix to ensure the lasagne sheets cook.

Whilst the ragu sauce is cooking, start the white sauce.  Put all the white sauce ingredients into a non stick sauce pan and heat gently, whisk with a balloon whisk to mix the flour in well.  As the mixture heats up it will start to thicken. Turn the heat down to low at this point and change to a wooden spoon and stir continuously to stop the sauce sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once the sauce starts trying to bubble turn off the heat and leave with a lid on (to stop a skin forming) until you are ready to assemble the lasagne.

I, or should I say my kids and partner, like/ a lot of pasta in their lasagne.  So when I come to assembling I put take one large ladle full of ragu and spread this over the bottom of the lasagne dish, then dribble over a ladleful of white sauce then a layer of dried lasagne sheets, and repeat, aiming to end up with as many layers of pasta as I can, ending with the final layer of ragu topped with a bit more than a ladle of white sauce to pretty much cover the ragu.  Grate over some cheddar or parmesan and bake at 190C for 45 minutes.

Traditionally in the UK this seems to be served with garlic bread, which in our house invariably ends up as garlic toast (mash garlic into some butter and spread on hot toast), and a green salad.  But as this vegetarian version was so jam packed with pasta and vegetables I didn't bother with either!

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