I do love a good lasagne but they do tend to take a long time and make a heap of dishes! This one is meatfree and is made with a lentil ragu. I have added miso into the sauce to achieve the same unami (savoriness) you would achieve with a meat ragu. If you don’t have miso in your fridge yet, do grab some, it lasts for ages.
Cheese sauce wise there are 3 options here. The one below is quick and easy and is made with ricotta and crème fraiche. There is also the standard cheese sauce here (500ml batch should do it) or the cauliflower cheese sauce here.
I used gluten free lasagne sheets and it worked well. Alternatively you could serve the ragu with pasta or use as a topping for a baked potato or kumara. Slices of grilled eggplant or courgette can be used instead of lasagna sheets too when in season too.
1 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
4 sticks celery, finely chopped
4 garlic, crushed
4 T olive oil
300g pumpkin, grated, alternatively try 300g chopped mushrooms
2 bay leaves
1 jar pasaata
1 tin tomatoes or a cup of slow roasted tomato sauce
2 cup water or vegetable stock
2 T white miso
1 tin brown lentils or equivalent cooked puy style lentils
1 tsp wine vinegar
½ cup red lentils, rinsed
Fresh thyme, parsley, basil or oregano
200-250g dried lasagna sheets
1 kumara and a small wedge of pumpkin, sliced and cooked
wilted greens - I used some baby kale which I quickly wilted
Place the onion, carrot, celery and garlic with the olive oil in a large pot and sweat (without colour) for ten minutes or until soft. This slow step equals big flavour.
Add in the grated pumpkin and bay leaves and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add in the passata, tinned tomatoes, stock, miso, lentils and some fresh herbs. Bring to the boil and cook for 30 minutes. Season well. The sauce should be nicely balanced with the sweetness from the vegetables. You can always add a little more vinegar if needed. This part can be made in advance.
While its cooking if you would like a vegetable layer, sliced the kumara and pumpkin length ways into 1 cm thick sliced and roast them in the oven for 20 minutes .
To assemble the lasagne I did this…
1 cup of lentil ragu spread over the base of the dish - lasagne sheets - 2 cups ragu - layer of roasted root vegetables - 2 cups ragu - wilted greens - lasagne sheets - 2 cups ragu - cheese sauce - thyme leaves
There was two cups of ragu left and I froze it for a emergency children dinner.
This can be all assembled and covered in the fridge for two days if needed.
If you cook it from cold, it takes about 1 hour as 160-170. If you make it while the ragu was still warm, it would probably be ready in 30-45 minutes.
Quick cheese sauce
200-250g crème fraiche
Salt and pepper
Extra parmesan and thyme leaves on top
Mix ricotta, crème fraiche, and parmesan together and season well. That was easy.