I used to think of lasagne as a heavy dish. Until I made this one recently.
It was so chock-full of fresh seasonal veges (they really filled up most of the dish) that it felt very balanced, almost light. Yet still so satisfying.
You could have it as a stand alone dish but we had it as the starring vegan dish for Sabbath dinner, so it was alongside a range of salads of carrot, beetroot, greens and baba ganoush.
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For the tomato sauce:
2 cups cooked lentils
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 large mushrooms, finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Bunch of herbs eg oregano, marjoram, sage, rosemary, parsley, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1 medium chili
Pinch of powdered spices – cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, turmeric, cumin
Salt to taste
For the Bechemel sauce:
2 heaped tablespoons flour (I used wholegrain spelt)
2 cups vegan milk (oat, almond, soy, etc)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon seasoning like zaatar/ sage, lemon
Salt to taste
For the layers:
1 red capsicum
1 very small pumpkin or squash
1 red onion
1 bunch silverbeet or spinach
4 sprigs fresh basil
Sprigs of rosemary
For the Tomato Sauce:
- Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil with a pinch of salt until transparent.
- Add the mushrooms and precooked lentils and fry for a couple of minutes
- Add the tomato paste and stir in thoroughly
- Add herbs, spices and water as needed to make a thick sauce.
- Simmer for 5 minutes until the mushrooms soften and everything comes together.
- Add salt to taste.
For the bechemel sauce:
- Put the flour and nutritional yeast in a pot with a small amount of the milk. Stir until the flour is dissolved in the liquid taking care to work through all the lumps until you have a smooth liquid.
- Add the rest of the milk, the oil, herbs and salt.
- Heat over a medium high heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Continue until the sauce thickens.
- Remove from the heat, taste and add more salt or herbs as desired. It should taste really good and make you want to lick the pan.
For the layers:
- Oil the base of the lasagna dish.
- Lay one layer of lasagna sheets.
- Top with 2-3 types of vegetable eg zucchini and onion.
- Spread the lasagna sauce over the vegetables fairly evenly.
- Drizzle a quarter of the bechemel sauce on top.
- Repeat layers of lasagna sheets, 2-3 layers of vegetable eg capsicum, pumpkin and eggplant, tomato sauce and bechemel sauce.
- Top with greens eg silverbeet, basil, herbs. Of course add your special fresh greens from the garden!
- Top with remaining tomato sauce. Spread evenly the remaining bechemel sauce. Sprinkle with paprika and nutmeg and garnish with sprigs of rosemary.
- Bake in oven on 180 degrees for 45min – 1 hour
- Let sit for 1 hour before serving.
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