Lasagne is my ultimate comfort food – it’s taken me a while but I’ve found a recipe that satisfies my craving without using meat! I’ve adapted the original recipe to include more veggies and legumes. I’ve left the instructions as they are however so pay attention to the steps as they may vary to a standard lasagne.
This isn’t one I’d usually make during the week as it’s longer than 30 minutes, but when I make it I usually do a second batch so I have one handy to freeze for later, so the time is worth it.
An impressive dish to serve people who aren’t used to meat-free meals ✌?
Pic and original recipe adapted from:
PREP: 30 MINUTES | COOK: 30 MINUTES | CHILL: 15 MINUTES | SERVES: 6-8
Veggies and spinach
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 red capsicum, chopped
- 125 grams mushrooms, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 medium brown onion, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 100 gram packet of baby spinach
Tomato sauce (or substitute with 2 cups bottled marinara sauce)
- 1 large can (800 grams) diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh basil + additional for garnish
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 400 gram tin brown lentils, drained
- 2 cups (or 500 grams) cottage or ricotta cheese, divided
- ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 9 pre-cooked lasagna sheets
- 2 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 200°c.
- To prepare the veggies: In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Once shimmering, add the carrots, capsicum, mushrooms, zucchini, onion, and salt. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until the veggies are golden on the edges, about 8 to 12 minutes.
- Add a few large handfuls of spinach. Cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach has wilted. Repeat with remaining spinach and cook until all of the spinach has wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove the heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, to prepare the tomato sauce: Pour the tomatoes into a mesh sieve or fine colander and drain off the excess juice for a minute. Then, transfer the drained tomatoes to the bowl of a food processor. Add the basil, olive oil, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes.
- Pulse the mixture about 10 times, until the tomatoes have broken down to an easily spreadable consistency. Pour the mixture into a bowl for later (you should have a little over 2 cups sauce). Rinse out the food processor and return it to the machine.
- Pour half of the cottage cheese (1 cup) into the processor and blend it until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to large mixing bowl. No need to rinse out the bowl of the food processor this time; just put it back onto the machine because you’ll need it later.
- Transfer the cooked veggies and spinach mixture to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse until they are more finely chopped (but not puréed!), about 5 to 7 times, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of whipped cottage cheese and add the tinned lentils. Top with the remaining cottage cheese, then add ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt (to taste) and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine. Now it’s lasagna assembly time!
- Spread ½ cup tomato sauce evenly over the bottom of a 9” by 9” baking dish. Layer 3 lasagna noodles on top (cut to fit, and/or overlap their edges as necessary). Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture evenly over the noodles. Top with ¾ cup tomato sauce, then sprinkle ½ cup shredded cheese on top.
- Top with 3 more noodles, followed by the remaining cottage cheese mixture (we’re skipping the tomato sauce in this layer.) Sprinkle ½ cup shredded cheese on top.
- Top with 3 more noodles, then spread ¾ cup tomato sauce over the top (you may have a little sauce leftover) to evenly cover the noodles. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup shredded cheese.
- Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil, but try not to let the foil touch the cheese. Bake, covered, for 18 minutes, then remove the cover, rotate the pan by 180° and continue cooking for about 10 to 12 more minutes, until the top is turning spotty brown.
- Remove from oven and let the lasagna cool for 15 to 20 minutes, so it has time to set and cool down to a reasonable temperature.
- Sprinkle additional basil over the top, then slice and serve.