This is a vegetarian lasagne that I recommend you try, even if you are a big meat eater. I made it for my dad who loves meat, and, to my surprise, he approved and even asked for seconds.
If you are vegan, you can change some of the white sauce ingredients; simply exchange butter with olive oil and replace the milk with a plant-based milk and you are good to go 😊
2 aubergines, slice into half centimetre slices
25g porcini mushrooms
2 large red onions, finely chopped
3 cloves or garlic, finally chopped
½ tsp ground cinnamon
120g dried green lentils, rinsed
½ tsp marmite
300g portabella mushrooms, finely sliced
200ml vegetable stock
2 x 400g cans plumb tomatoes
Some sprigs of fresh thyme
9-12 lasagne sheets (depending on the size of the lasagne sheets)
120g Parmesan cheese, grated
125g mozzarella, shredded
For the white sauce
40g plain flour
750ml semi-skimmed milk
½ tsp ground nutmeg
Place the porcini mushrooms in a bowl and pour over 250ml of boiling water. Soak for 20 mins.
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/ 400°F/ Gas 6 and line two baking trays with baking parchment. Brush the aubergines on both sides with olive oil and lay on the lined baking trays in single layers. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the top and roast for 35-40 minutes or until the edges become golden brown.
To make the vegetable ragu, first add the onions and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan. Fry until golden and soft before adding the garlic. Fry for a minute before adding the cinnamon. Stir for half a minute and then add the lentils, marmite, portabella mushrooms and vegetable stock. Crush the tomato plumbs and add to the pan. Stir well to mix.
Finally, chop the porcini (reserving the soaking liquor) and add to the pan, along with the reserved liquor.
Bring the ragu to boil before turning the heat to the lowest setting. Cook for 35 to 45 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked.
Preparing the white sauce
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat and add the flour. Whisk until fully mixed and cook on a low heat for 1 to 2 mins. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk until you create a loose sauce before seasoning. Return to a gentle heat and whisk constantly until the sauce thickens.
Assembling and cooking the lasagne
Spread a fourth of the ragu in a baking dish (xxx) followed by a layer of aubergine on top. Then, add a layer of white sauce (1/4) before sprinkling one fourth of the parmesan on top and finally a layer of lasagne sheet on top. Repeat this process twice. Top with the ragu sauce, white sauce, parmesan and mozzarella and bake in the oven on 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 40 to 45 mins, until piping hot and crisp and bubbling on top. Serve immediately.