Veggie loaded lasagne

Yvonne O'Halloran

The key to a good lasagne to not be in a rush. This lasagne is rich, yummy and worth the time. I sometimes make the ragu the day before so that the assembly process is simple!

Serving: 9 pieces of lasagne
Prep: 1 hr 45 mins
Cooking: 30 mins
Total: 2hrs 15 mins

Ingredients

• 18-20 lasagne sheets
• pesto/ vegan cheese for topping (see recipe here for homemade)
Lentil Ragu
•1 x large red onion
•4 x garlic cloves
• 2 x medium sweet potatoes
• 2 x bell peppers
• 1 x large courgette
• 250 g spinach
• 500g red lentils (soaked for 1hr minimum, better overnight)
• 4 x cans chopped tomatoes
• 500 g Passata
•2 x large sticks of celery
• 5 tbsp mixed herbs
•1tbsp cumin seeds
•1 tbsp paprika
• 1.5 tsp salt
• 1 tsp pepper
• 2 tbsp tomato purée
•1.5 cups of water
(Extra salt/ pepper for roast veggies)

Bechamel

• ½ cup corn flour
• ½ cup plain flour
• ½ cup rapeseed oil
• 4 cups oat or soy milk
•2/3 cups of nutritional yeast
•1 tbsp tahini
• salt and pepper to taste

Ragu Method

1. Turn your oven on to 180°C fan and cut your sweet potatoes into small cubes. Cover with
oil, cumin seeds, paprika and a dash of salt. Pop them in the oven to roast for 40 minutes.
2. In a large sauce pan, heat 2tbsp of oil and dice your onions, celery and garlic. Fry the onions
and celery for 5 minutes before turning the heat down low and adding the garlic and 4 tbsp
mixed herbs.
3. After the onions are lightly browned and the garlic and celery are fragrant and soft, add your
drained lentils and fry for about 10 minutes. Stir constantly and add more oil if necessary.
4. Pour in your chopped tomatoes, passata and water and bring to a simmer. Whilst the ragu
simmers away, chop up your bell peppers and courgette. Place them in a pan, lightly coat
them with oil, a tbsp of mixed herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Put them in the oven
with the sweet potatoes to roast for 20 minutes/ until starting to slightly brown.
5. Meanwhile, add the balsamic and tomato purée, salt and pepper to the ragu mixture. Keep
stirring the ragu to make sure the lentils aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pan. The key
with the ragu is to be patient and let it reduce until it is thick and the lentils soft and creamy,
with no watery tomato mixture bubbling on top. If the lentils aren’t cooked yet, add some
more water if the mixture is drying out.
6. When the lentils are cooked through in a thick ragu, remove from heat and stir in the
spinach and add the roasted vegetables.

Bechamel

1. For this part, it helps to have the ingredients measured out so you can keep stirring! You will
also want to use appropriate utensils, so pick a pan and stirring device where it is acceptable
to scrape the whisk/ spoon against the bottom of your pan.
2. In a medium sized sauce pan, pour in your oil and add both plain and corn flour and stir to
make a smooth oily paste. Gently start to heat and stir, making sure it isn’t sticking to the
bottom.
3. After the paste is warm and very slightly thickened (not super hot or bubbling just warm),
pour in your milk gradually as you keep stirring. This is where it is most important to make
sure that the flour/oil paste is not forming globules on the base of your pan, so really touch
the bottom of the pan and keep stirring.
4. Once all the milk is poured in and you have stirred to a uniform consistency, Add your
nutritional yeast, tahini, salt and pepper. I recommend using a good amount of pepper.
5. Stir your bechamel as it gently heats. It should become thicker, silky and creamy, but should
still pour nicely.

Finishing Off
1. On the bottom of a large casserole dish/ deep oven tray (approx. 33 x 22), spread one third
of your ragu at the base. Cover the ragu in lasagne sheets, then spread a thin layer of your
bechamel on top. Repeat by adding a layer of ragu, then lasagne sheets and bechamel. Then
add one more layer of ragu, lasagne sheets and finish with the last of your bechamel. Top
with pesto, vegan cheese or simply some basil.
2. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes at 180°C. When it is finished, you should be able to
push a fork through the pasta and the edges should be brown and crispy.

Article written by Aisling Geraghty- United Kingdom 

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