Saturday, July 27, 2013

Vegetarian Lasagne

So we in this house aren't vegetarian by any means, but somehow I ended up with so many different packs and types of lentils in my pantry, it's not even funny.  So hubby requested that I find ways to use them up!  This veggie lasagne was perfect.  My kids love lasagne but my son isn't overly fond of some veggies.... however even he didn't have any idea that this lasagne was vegetarian as he ate up multiple serves!  It's pretty important to soak the lentils prior to cooking them in order to make them easier to digest. 

Ingredients (serves 6-8):
Dry lasagne sheets (I used gluten-free ones)
100g sheep's milk pecorino (or parmesan), grated

White sauce:
1L milk of choice (I used Bonsoy)
100g butter, cubed
40g gluten-free cornflour
1 tsp sea salt
Pinch of nutmeg

1 cup lentils, soaked for 8 hours, then drained and rinsed well (I used a mix of split red and Beluga lentils)
Optional - handful of dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes
1 onion, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp cooking fat
4 large tomatoes, halved (or 400g can diced tomatoes)
1/2 red capsicum, cut into chunks
1 carrot, peeled, quartered
100g mushrooms
200g pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
1 bay leaf
4 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup water
Sea salt, pepper and Herbamare to taste

1. Grate cheese and set aside.  

2. Make white sauce: in a small saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and then whisk in cornflour.  Gradually add the milk, whisking the whole time.  When sauce has thickened slightly, add salt and nutmeg.  Set aside.

(In Thermomix, prepare a double quantity of white sauce by using the EDC recipe)

3. Make the lasagne filling: add diced onion, crushed garlic and cooking fat to a saucepan on medium heat.  Cook until softened.  In the meantime, puree in a food processor the tomatoes, capsicum, carrot, mushrooms, pumpkin and porcini mushrooms with soaking water (if using).  Add puree to the saucepan along with the remaining ingredients, including the drained and rinsed lentils.  Bring to the boil and then turn down to simmer for around 15 minutes or until the lentils are soft, stirring often.  Remove the bay leaf.

(Thermomix - add halved onion and peeled garlic cloves. Chop 2sec/sp7.  Add cooking fat and cook 2min/100deg/sp1.  Add tomatoes, capsicum, carrot, mushrooms, pumpkin and porcini mushrooms with the soaking water, if using.  Process 10sec/sp7 until finely chopped.  Add the remaining ingredients including the drained and rinsed lentils and cook for 20min/100deg/rev+sp2 and ensure that the lentils are soft at the end of that cooking time. Remove the bay leaf)

4.  Preheat the oven to 180 degrees while you assemble the lasagne. In the bottom of a large rectangular baking dish, pour in 1/3 of the filling.  Top with lasagne sheets, then spread a thin layer of white sauce over the lasagne sheets.  Repeat this process 2 more times until you have used up all the filling, finishing with lasagne sheets.  Pour the remainder of the white sauce over the top and sprinkle with the grated cheese.  Place into the oven and bake for around 20 minutes or until the top is golden and the lasagne sheets are cooked through.  Serve with a salad.


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