I made this dish especially for Cam who was craving a good lasagna with white sauce and cheese. This recipe is essentially a classic beef lasagna recipe with lentils instead of beef mince and is wonderfully scrumptious comfort food. The flavours and texture work great together; try it out on your meat eating friends or family and see if they can taste the difference!! A great dish for those new to vegetarianism or anyone wanting to reduce meat from their diet; it sure hits the spot as far as lasagna cravings go : )
Preparation time: 55mins // Serves 4-6
- 1½ cup brown lentils
- 3 cups water
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 250g (9 oz) of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 vegetable stock cubes (I used no animal content ‘beef’ stock cubes)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbs red wine
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 50g (2 oz) butter (dairy or non-dairy)
- ¼ cup plain flour
- 350ml (12 fl oz) milk (diary or non-dairy)
- ½ cup vegetarian parmesan or sharp tasty cheese, grated
- 8 lasagne sheets
Rinse the lentils until the water runs clean. Bring the lentils, water and bay leaves to the boil; simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 210°C (410°F)
Meanwhile heat a small amount of olive oil in a large frypan. Add the onion and cook for 1-2 minutes until soft.
Add the garlic and cook for a further minute until fragrant. Add the carrot and cherry tomatoes, stock cubes, sugar, wine and tomato paste and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
Add the lentils to the sauce with remaining liquid and continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes; season with salt and pepper to taste.
To make the white sauce melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a low heat; add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until combined. Remove from the heat and gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Return to the heat and slowly bring to the boil over a gentle heat, cook for 10 minutes until sauce starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large baking dish layer the lentils with the sauce and cheese and then top with lasagna sheets. Continue to layer finishing with a layer of cheese.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-35mins until golden on top.
Serve with a simple green salad for a delicious main meal.