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Vegetarian Lasagne

This is a very flexible recipe. You can leave out the squash or substitute the tomato sauce with sauteed/wilted spinach. You don’t have to add lentils to the tomato sauce but they add protein and fibre to the dish. You could also add mushrooms, courgettes or aubergines to the tomato sauce.

Ingredients
approx 500gm raw butternut squash (or sweet potato)
2 tbsp olive oil
6 lasagne sheets
175gm grated cheddar (you can include some parmesan if you like)

Tomato sauce
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tin tomatoes (400gm) & tomato puree
1 carrot (grated), 1 stick of celery (optional)
½ cup dried red lentils or a tin of brown lentils
mixed dry/fresh herbs (eg oregano, basil)

Cheese sauce
(Instead of the the traditional bechamel sauce, we make this sauce as it’s easier and more nutritious adding protein and fibre from the beans.)

1 tin any white beans (haricot, cannelloni, butter bean)
1 large handful of grated cheese
Extra flavour: Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, nutritional yeast flakes

Steps

  1. Cut butternut squash in half lengthways. Scoop out seeds. Dice the squash into 1cm cubes (no need to peel).  Drizzle with oil and roast until tender (up to 40 mins in oven, or 15 mins in air fryer at 180C).
  2. To make the tomato sauce, finely chop onion and cook with oil in a pan. Stir to avoid burning. Grate your carrot, press/chop your garlic and add to the onions, and cook for a couple of minutes. Add tin of tomatoes, lentils, dried herbs and a good squirt of tomato puree. Stir well and simmer for 30 mins. Stir from time to time.
  3. While the squash and the tomato sauce are cooking, make the cheese sauce. Open tin of beans and tip into a jug/tall container with their liquid (or drain the liquid and discard if you prefer and add more water). Grate your cheese and add a good handful to the beans with the flavouring. Blitz until smooth. The sauce needs to be thick but just about pourable, so add water if required.
  4. When the tomato sauce and squash is cooked, it is time to assemble the lasagne. It doesn’t really matter what order you layer but we start with a layer of squash in the bottom then tomato sauce. Then lasagne, snapping the sheets to fit if necessary (you don’t want any overlapping). Now cheese sauce, then lasagne, squash, tomato sauce, more lasagne and a final layer of cheese sauce. Make some cuts in the top sheet of lasagne with a sharp knife to prevent buckling. Sprinkle the rest of the grated cheddar (or parmesan if you prefer) over the top.
  5. Bake for 40 mins in the oven at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 or 15/20 mins in the air fryer at 180C, until the lasagne is golden and bubbling.

Recipes inspired by:
www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/caramelised-squash-spinach-lasagne

Equipment List

Air fryer/oven
Hob, saucepan
Stick blender, jug
Grater, Peeler
Knife, chopping board
Tin opener
Wooden spoon
Mixing bowl

Spoons

Baking dish/foil container

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