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  • 250g puy lentils (or substitute vegan or veggie mince)

  • 12 large tomatoes, or use 2 tins of chopped tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp tomato puree

  • 2 aubergines

  • 1 carrot, diced

  • 4 cloves of garlic

  • 1 stick of celery, diced

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 1 red pepper

  • Dark soy sauce, 2 tbsp

  • Vegetable stock, 1 pt good quality vegetable bouillion works best

  • Small sprig of fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves & handful of fresh marjoram

  • 400ml milk (or substitute almond or soy milk)

  • 2 tbsp plain flour

  • 40g butter or margarine

  • 120g grated hard cheese such as parmesan (or substitute vegan parmesan)

  • 1 packet of lasagne pasta

  • Black pepper, white pepper & sea salt

We love a good vegetarian lasagne in our house.  I don’t think you can better the homemade versions.  I think the dish benefits from being left overnight and baked the following day. It can be made without the aubergine, and the puy lentils can be substituted for soya mince or similar product.  There is nearly always enough filling to make a second lasagne, which I always freeze.  For busy working families, nothing quite beats homemade ready made food in the freezer.

To prepare:

  1. Saute 1/2 of the onion and one clove of crushed garlic in olive oil until softened.  Add puy lentils, sauté for further minute then add 1 1/2 to 2 pints of stock and simmer until lentils are fully cooked and soft.  Add further stock as needed.  You are aiming for them to absorb most of the liquid without leaving too much broth. 
  2. Remove hard core of tomatoes and place whole on baking tray, along with 3 garlic cloves. Roast on high heat until well roasted and starting to blacken. Blitz with handblender. Set aside.
  3. Remove ends and slice aubergines lengthways, approx 1.5cm thickness.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast on high heat until golden brown and soft. Set aside.
  4. Saute remaining onion, carrot, red pepper and celery, then add cooked lentils, soy, one bay leaf and handful of fresh marjoram and sprig of thyme.  Add blended tomato sauce (or tinned tomatoes and garlic if using) and the tomato puree.  Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper, then taste to check seasoning and adjust according to taste.
  5. Heat butter in small pan, add pinch of salt and plain flour and cook to make roux, gently cooking the paste for 2-3 minutes.  Then slowly add milk, whisking all the time until reach a creamy consistent sauce. Add a bay leaf, and simmer for 2 minutes.
  6. Layer some bechamel sauce in bottom of large deep baking dish and cover with pasta.  Then layer over lentil and tomato mix, followed by layer of roasted aubergine, allowing the aubergine to overlap to create nice thick layer. Add another layer of lentil mix and then top with another layer of pasta, and on top of pasta pour creamy béchamel sauce. Sprinkle top with cheese and salt and pepper.
  7. Bake in medium hot oven at 190 C for 30-40 mins until bubbling and top is golden brown. Serve with a fresh green salad.   
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