Saturday, 11 May 2013

The only way to eat lasagne. Unless you're a vegan, maybe.

In my former meat-eating days I couldn't go past a good lasagne and I have finally found an equally amazing meat-free alternative.

Beware this will take you about an hour and a half to get into the oven.

1/2 can of Sanitarium nutmeat (grated)
2 carrots (chopped into small bits)
2 tomatoes (chopped about double the size of the carrots)
1 can of tomatoes in juice (preferably with nothing else added)
2 generous table spoons of tomato puree (ditto)
1 cube of Massel (faux) chicken stock (SO GOOD)
1-2 brown onions depending on size (chop similar size-ish to the carrots)
1 hearty glass of wine (if you've got red then that's the best) but you could also just use some vinegar here if you prefer
1 teaspoon of ground cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon paprika
[Wheat] lasagne sheets (I usually soak these briefly in hot water before I use them - it helps them cook properly)
And of course some salt and pepper, and oil for frying

White sauce:
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
1 cup plain flour
2 generous table spoons of oil/olivani/butter
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon of mustard
A sprinkle of salt and pepper

NB: If you want to use garlic I would suggest taking out one of the onions. Also nutmeat could be substituted for another meat alternative. For the white sauce you could substitute for non-dairy products.

1. Fill and boil the jug.
2. Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook for about two minutes.
3. Add the grated nutmeat to the pan and cook for a further few minutes.
4. Add carrot and tomatoes and cook them all for another two or three minutes.
5. Add the can of tomatoes into the pan. Pour a little bit of the boiled water into the empty can and swish it around then add it to the pan also.
6. Add a bit of hot water if necessary to cover all the ingredients sufficiently. Remember it'll be on the stove for a while so don't be worried about putting too much in. Add the cube of stock. Stir the mixture to help it dissolve.
7. Add the herbs, wine, and S&P. Stir. Turn the heat down a bit and let it simmer away. Leave it for about 20-30 minutes.
8. THEN: SAUCE TIME. Perhaps also now turn the oven on to about 170 degrees (fan bake). Heat oil/olivani/butter in a pan. Add the flour gradually and use a whisk to help the oil absorb it properly. It might start forming clumps - don't worry.
9. Take the pan off the heat and add some milk slowly, again using the whisk constantly to help the ingredients combine.
10. Put the pan back on the heat, be careful of it getting too hot because it will thicken very quickly. The main concern here is making sure there are no clumps in the sauce. If it starts getting too thick you can add more milk.
11. Once you're happy with the consistency (should be still quite runny at this point) add most of the grated cheese, mustard and S&P to the sauce. On low heat stir it continuously until all the ingredients have combined.
12. DON'T leave it on the stove for too long. It will reduce. Once they've all combined take it off the stove and put the sauce into a pouring-friendly container. Set aside.
13. How is the sauce? It should be done by now so turn the heat off.
14. Put a layer of lasagne sheets on the bottom of your oiled/lined lasagne dish. Pour 1/3  of the tomato/nutmeat sauce. Make sure it's entirely covering the lasagne sheets otherwise they won't cook. Pour just less than a 1/3 of the white sauce on top.
15. Repeat step #14 for three layers.
16. On the top layer pour the remaining white sauce, making sure you cover all of the lasagne sheets. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top.
17. Put it in the oven for about 30-40 minutes and bam! Vegetarian lasagne heaven!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recipe been looking for one for ages :D