You have to make this recipe. My family and I were all stunned how good it tastes. It's light but satisfying – minus the trillion calories that come with traditional lasagne. And absolutely perfect for a large family meal, a dinner party or the week's meal-prep: it freezes well and can be divided into 6 neat portions ready to be heated up or guzzled down straight from the fridge.
For the tomato-lentil sauce
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper (aka capsicum), deseeded and chopped
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
- 2 x 400ml/14oz cans chopped tomatoes
For the pasta sheets
- 200g/7oz lasagne sheets
For the celeriac bechamel
- 1 medium (roughly 600g/20oz) celeriac (aka celery root), peeled and chopped
- 100ml/scant ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp fine salt
For the spinach
- 180g/6oz spinach, finely chopped
For the cashew cream
- 1 cup cashews, soaked in water for min 3 hours
- 6 tbsp unsweetened plant milk e.g. almond
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ⅛ tsp fine salt
- 40g/⅓ cup meltable vegan cheese, grated
For the tomato-lentil sauce:
- In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and chilli to the pan and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add the pepper (capsicum) and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Stir in the thyme, oregano, salt and sugar.
- Add the lentils, followed by the chopped tomatoes. Fill one of the empty cans with water and add that, too.
- Leave to simmer for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, move on to make the celeriac sauce (see below).
- Add a good grind of black pepper, then set the sauce aside.
- for the celeriac bechamel:
Steam the celeriac for 15 minutes.
- Cool the celeriac down by rinsing with cold water. Place in a food processor or large blender and blitz.
- While the celeriac is blending, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, so it is well incorporated.
- Add the salt and pulse one more time. Set aside.
For the assembly:
- Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
- Boil 500ml/2 cups of water. Lay the lasagne sheets out in a single layer on 2 baking trays. Pour the boiling water over the lasagne sheets and soak for 2-3 minutes, then drain the water.
- Oil a large (3½ litre/3 quart) ovenproof baking dish (mine measured 27cm x 22cm (11" x 9") at the top). Pour a third of the tomato-lentil sauce into the dish.
- Cover the sauce with a layer of lasagne sheets.
- Spread half the celeriac bechamel onto the lasagne sheets.
- Sprinkle half of the spinach on top, followed by another third of tomato-lentil sauce and then more lasagne sheets.
- Repeat the previous 2 steps once.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. While it's baking, make the cashew cream (see below).
for the cashew cream:
- Drain and rinse the cashews well. If you've forgotten to soak the cashews, skip this step and just grate lots of vegan cheese on top of the lasagne when the 35 minutes are up and return to the oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
- Blitz the cashews with the plant milk, nutritional yeast and salt.
- After the lasagne has been in the oven for 35 minutes, take it out and uncover it. Spread the cashew cream over the top. Evenly sprinkle the vegan cheese on top of the cream. Return to the oven for 15 minutes. --
- Turn the oven setting to 'grill' or 'broil' if the top isn't crispy enough.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.