One of my all time comfort foods is lasagna. Rissie has inherited this love and she along with her Poppa Phil will always pick lasagna if it happens to be on the menu. There are quite a few meals that are for me more memories on a plate than anything else. The sheer mention of them evokes so many emotions, and the eating should match those memories. Lasagna is one of those meals and I have been dying to create a plant-based version that is just as good as the original. When Al was here late last year I made a lasagna, it was nice, but not perfect. I remember it being a bit dry and it did not give me that whoosh of memories or make me inclined to visit the fridge at midnight and take yet another tiny little piece.
Hearing that Poppa/Step-dad Phil was heading back to Tenterfield today combined with the fact that I have been craving comfort of any description this week inspired me to revisit my original recipe notes and give this lasagna another go. All I can say is that I had a second helping and the three of us are so excited that there are leftovers for tomorrow night. It was rich, creamy, decadent and completely and overwhelmingly comforting. This lasagna has a few steps to it, so it is a great meal to make on a Sunday when you have some time to spare. The result is worth every single minute it takes. Some meals just take me to my happy place.
Divine Plant-Based Lasagna
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 4 cups almond milk
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- Smidge salt
- 2 white onions peeled and diced
- 1 bulb garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 1/2 litres passata
- 2 onions peeled and finely diced
- 2 celery stalks finely chopped
- 2 carrots finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp chilli flakes
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1 400 gram can diced tomatoes
- 3 whole tomatoes
- 400 ml vegetable stock
- 1 cup green lentils
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- At least 12 lasagne sheets enough for multiple layers.
- 2 cups nutritional yeast
- Add oil to a pot on the stove and heat it.
- As the oil heats add the sifted flour to the pain and stir vigorously.
- Add the almond milk and whisk as this heats to ensure that there are no lumps.
- As it comes to the boil, add nutritional yeast and salt to taste.
- Keep in mind that this will continue to thicken as it cools, so allow to simmer for a minute or two while whisking and then remove from heat.
- Add oil to frypan and add onions until softened.
- Add garlic and cook for a few minutes then add passata and simmer to
- Heat oil in a large fry pan over medium to low heat.
- Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or so or until translucent.
- Add 1/4 of the stock, bring to a simmer then allow liquid to reduce.
- Add chilli flakes, olives, canned and fresh tomatoes and remainder of stock.
- Bring to the boils, then stir in lentils and season well. Add vinegar. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer until lentils are tender and sauce has reduced.
- Layer lasagna in deep baking tray as follows:Bottom layer of tomato sauce. Layer of lasagna sheets. Layer of bolognaise. Layer of lasagna sheets. Layer of bolognaise. Layer of lasagna sheets. Layer of tomato sauce. Layer of lasagna sheets. Top layer of bechamel and then cover with nutritional yeast.
- Bake for approximately an hour in a medium oven.