This lasagne is for all y’all who aren’t into layers of vegetables nestled in between pasta and sauce, masquerading as lasagne.
Having said that, I do make a pretty bangin’ vegetable lasagne. A couple of pumpkin ones too, here and here. But I also make a pretty bangin’ vegetarian lasagne with faux mince, for the nostalgic among us who just want some comfort food – and comfort food doesn’t include a green veg.
I’ve dabbled with the sauce, tweaking it here and there over the years, and to be honest I still make it different every time. The last incarnation favoured oregano over basil to see how that went (does anyone else pronounce it like Heather Chandler quietly to themselves when cooking? No? Just me?), and sometimes it’s light, sometimes thick and rich. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how many times I dabble with it, I still can’t get the mince to take on that proper depth of flavour the real thing would have, and sometimes it’s a bit of a disappoinment after the first few seconds of mouth bliss when the flavour doesn’t carry. But hey, if you haven’t had proper lasagne in a while, it’ll be a total party.
Don’t skimp on the bechamel, and get lasagne sheets you don’t have to pre-cook (do they still make those?). Make tons, and freeze in portions for later, and don’t forget the garlic bread!
(ps you can also make it with brown or green lentils if you like – it’s the same recipe.)Print
For nostalgic fans of traditional lasagne, made meatless but still “meaty”, this one’s for you.
- 600g meatless mince (this is usually two bags – both Quorn and Linda McCartney brands are good)
- 1 Large onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cube beef-style stock (I use Massel brand)
- 1 cup water
- 800g tinned tomatoes (two tins)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 pinch sugar
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup plain flour
- 1 litre (4 cups) plain milk
- 1 Large bay leaf
- 1 packet lasagne sheets (dried)
- 1 cup grated cheese
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat a good amount of olive oil over a medium-low heat.
- Saute the onion and the garlic gently, until translucent.
- Add the mince (frozen is fine, straight in!) with the stock cube dissolved in the 1 cup water. Turn up the heat to medium, and let the onion and garlic and stock do it’s thing for a few minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, the wine, the tomato paste, the herbs, and salt and pepper. Leave to simmer for as long as you like – a couple of hours if you like it rich and thick, full of flavour. If you’re in a hurry, 20-30 mins should do it.
- While that’s bubbling away, make your bechamel (and preheat your oven to 200C). In a medium pot, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir for one minute.
- Add the milk and bay leaf and stir regularly until sauce boils and thickens. This can take a while, so be careful you don’t walk away and leave it.
- In the biggest baking dish you have, spoon a little of the “meat” sauce over the bottom. Put one layer of lasagne sheets, half the meat sauce, and a third of the bechamel. Repeat the meat sauce/bechamel/pasta layer, then cover the pasta with bechamel.
- Sprinkle cheese over and place in medium-hot oven to do its thang for at least 30 minutes. Turn it down if you think it’s getting too hot in therre, but basically as soon as the top layer is brown and your pasta layer is soft (check it with a knife), you’re good to go.
You can also make it with brown or green lentils if you like – it’s the same recipe.
Keywords: vegetarian lasagne, meatless lasagne, veggie lasagne, vegetarian lasagna