This meal is much quicker than other lasagne recipes as I dive in and give you a trick. This stops you having to watch paint dry whilst your scrumptious lasagne is taking too long cooking away in the oven,when all you want to do is eat it! Do you want to hear it?
Soaking your lasagne sheets in water and oil whilst you prepare the filling! That’s it! It is an absolute saviour. Everyone tends to take their lasagne out the oven too early (due to being impatient and maybe a little hangry) without soaking your sheets, the lasagne sheets won’t be fully cooked and you’ll regret not using this little trick. This way, ensures the sheets are thoroughly soft and is basically perfectly cooked every time. I encourage you to alter this recipe to your taste-buds, you can switch up the veggies to whatever you fancy or have available.I do aim this recipe at students but it can be used for anyone with a tight schedule or who just fancy some good home grub as it will last for days in the fridge and can be used to take to university/work for lunch too. Make sure you share it with your flat mates/colleagues and let them experience this meat-free flavourful recipe. Vegan or not vegan you have got to love this. Let’s crack on with this recipe so you can try it out.
Serves: 8 people
For the pasta layers:
- Lasagne sheets
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Boiling water
For the filling:
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 onion medium-large
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- peas & sweetcorn
- 250g mushrooms
- Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped and rinsed
- 100ml red wine (or veg stock to cut the price)
- dry lentils
- 2 tins 400g chopped tomatoes
- 100g tomato purée
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp Salt
- several basil leaves as preferred
For the creamy cheesy sauce:
- 1 medium, peeled potato
- 3 medium peeled carrots
- 1 tbsp. English mustard
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Nutritional yeast (the more “nooch” the better)
Firstly, boil the kettle and pour the hot water into a deep, flat dish to soak the lasagne sheets to partially cook them and make them malleable for layering later. These can be soaking whilst you prepare the rest of the yummy lasagne. Make sure to check when purchasing your lasagne sheets that they have no egg in them. It’s also good to preheat your oven to 180 degrees to bake our lasagne for ten minutes at the end.
Secondly chop your onion and garlic and sauté in a little oil using a simmering pan (or any pan of your preference). Whilst these two blend their flavours and soften, cut up your courgette, mushrooms, and celery. Then add to the pan with the peas and sweetcorn.
After about 5-10 minutes add your chopped tomatoes and maybe chop up some fresh tomatoes if you have them on hand, to add more texture. Stir this together with 100ml of wine/veg stock and season with salt and pepper. Dash some of your dry lentils in; add more if you want a thicker tomato sauce.
Next get your jar of sundried tomatoes. Drain off the oil and chop up into little pieces. If you have bought dry sundried tomatoes, that’s even better as it gives a leathery, chewy texture to the lasagne. Add these and combine to mix the flavours together. Squeeze tomato puree in to thicken and make the mixture silky and delicious!
The mixture can now simmer whilst you make the creamy sauce and it will cook nicely combining the flavours but still have a firm feel to the veggies.
Finely chop the basil and sprinkle it in your mixture which is ready to simmer. This adds a lovely rich flavour that makes it taste truly Italian. I know it looks scrumptious to eat but now you must leave it be whilst you make the other sauce.
For the creamy, cheesy sauce; peel three carrots and a potato and boil in a pan. Wait till these are soft then add plenty of nutritional yeast (I used about a cup) and a teaspoon of mustard. I hate mustard but in this it tastes absolutely divine! Blend this mixture together with a hand blender or any blender you have. This may be extremely thick but it is better for it to have a little body to it, however, if it is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water.
Finally, the best bit. Layer those bad boys up! Do it in whichever order you like leaving most of the creamy sauce for the top. Once you have done this, place in the oven for another ten minutes just to form the lasagne and give a bit of crisp to the top. To garnish I added a few basil leaves to the top.