Updated: Feb 14
Satisfyingly familiar, rich bolognese, stacks of pasta and creamy béchamel
For the bolognese -
1 Large white onion, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 large aubergine, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large orange bell pepper, diced
Chestnut mushrooms, finely diced
2 tins puy or green lentils
2 roasted red peppers (the type from a jar, or you can make your own)
150ml red wine (I use Rioja)
1 tbsp marmite
2 tins chopped tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 Sage leaf
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
100 ml vegetable stock or water
For the béchamel -
Plant based milk 3 cups (I used unsweetened almond)
1 white onion, cut into quarters
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground nutmeg
Planet based butter (I used Pure sunflower seed spread)
Chop the onion, celery and carrots into small 1cm sized pieces. Sauté on a medium heat with a little coconut oil until soft and the onion is translucent.
Dice the aubergine, red and orange bell peppers until all the same size approximately 1 cm cubes. Add to the pan with the celery onion and carrots.
Add the garlic cloves, bay leaves, italian seasoning and sweat for approximately 10 minutes.
Finely diced the chestnut mushrooms and add to the pan along with two tins of drained, precooked green lentils (you can also use puy lentils or French lentils for this recipe as they hold their shape quite well)
Add the red wine and marmite and increase the heat for a few minutes until the alcohol cooks off.
Chop and add the roasted red peppers and the remaining seasoning (this includes the fresh herbs) along with the vegetable stock or water.
Simmer over a medium for 40 minutes until desired consistency. I like mine like a thick Bolognese.
I would suggest leaving some moisture/water in the mix as I use the lasagne sheets dry as this absorbs the flavour of the Bolognese rather than just the water if you pre-cook them first.
Whilst the Bolognese is cooking you can prepare the béchamel.
Infuse your milk!
To give your béchamel an extra depth of flavour add a white onion, cut into quarters, a bay leaf, nutmeg and black peppercorns to a saucepan, add the plant based milk and simmer. (Sieve these out before adding to your roux.)
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized saucepan melt the plant-based butter and gradually add the flour until you get a smooth paste like mixture. Cook off the flour for approximately one minute.
Strain the infused milk and gradually add to the butter and flour whisking until the mixture is the consistency of a custard. Season with salt and pepper and add your vegan cheese if using, and nutritional yeast.
Build your lasagne!
This I think is the easiest part and the most fun! Add a little of the bolognese sauce to the bottom of a large, deep Pyrex dish to stop the lasagne from sticking to the bottom.
Add a layer of the dried lasagne pasta sheets, ensuring there are no gaps or spaces.
Ladle a generous helping of the Bolognese sauce on top of the lasagna sheets and them some of the béchamel.
Add another layer of lasagna sheets, the Bolognese, and the béchamel. Repeat the layers until your lasagna dish is nearly full.
Finish the top layer with pasta sheets and béchamel, cover with foil and cook on 200c for 40 mins.
Remove foil from dish, add vegan cheese and return to the oven, uncovered for 10 mins.
Remove from the oven and let the lasagne rest for 10 mins. (For best results let the lasagne completely cool and then return to the oven before serving. This will really help it hold its shape.)
Cut into generous helpings and serve with your preferred sides. I like a simple salad and lightly spiced fries!
I really hope you guys enjoyed this recipe, if you make it please tag me on IG #Hannahsbitchinkitchen and let me know how it turned out for you!
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