‘Meaty’ Vegetarian Lasagne

Lasagne is delicious, but too often I find vegetarian lasagne is actually just roast veggies arranged in layers. This veggie lasagne is different. It is ‘meaty’ and very much reminiscent of traditional lasagne. You won’t be disappointed!

Heads up this recipe will make two large ceramic containers of lasagne, or approximately 16 serves.

‘Mince meat’

Like a traditional lasagne the meaty layer is the most important one. You will need 2 onions, 10 cloves of garlic, 2 chillies, 2 carrots, 600g Quorn, 2 tins crushed tomatoes, 6 bay leaves, 2 tins black beans, 750mL veggie stock, 50g tomato paste and spices – smoked paprika, sweet paprika, mixed herbs, Cajun spice, chilli powder and salt.

01 ingredients

Finely dice the onion and sauté until brown, add the garlic, chilli and spices. Add the Quorn (Quorn is mushroom protein mince available in the freezer section of the supermarket). Add the other ingredients listed above. Simmer until reduced. Taste, delicious! Like a good curry this will get better with time – I made the mince the night before to save myself time and to give the flavours plenty of time to develop.

02 mince

White sauce

The other key layer in lasagne is white sauce. There are two recipes for white sauce – cornflour and milk, or a roux made from butter and flour with milk. Usually I choose the roux method, but the last couple of times this has resulted in lumpy white sauce.

I decided to give the cornflour method a go. I needed to keep adding more cornflour, it just wouldn’t thicken! Overall it was probably 3 tablespoons of cornflour per 200ml of milk (approx. 1 cup cornflour to 1.2 litres milk), with 1-2 tablespoons of English mustard and a generous sprinkle of salt.

Mix the cornflour with a small amount of milk. Combine the milk and the corn flour mix in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, add the mustard and salt and stir until it thickens. If the mix doesn’t thicken, mix more cornflour with milk and add to the pot.

03 white sauce

Assemble

Time to assemble. Sprinkle some water or liquid from the mince on the bottom of a ceramic oven dish (this will stop the pasta sticking). Place a layer of pasta. Top with mince, pasta, white sauce, shredded cheese, repeat.

04 layersBake at 180 degrees Celsius until golden on top.

05 lasagne

06 slice

Outcome: Yum – last time I made this, one friend didn’t realise it was vegetarian! It is a dish I only make every six months or so, and each time I make it I remember how much I love it. Tweak this dish to suit your own taste and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions – finely chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 2 chillies – finely slices
  • Spices – smoked paprika, sweet paprika, mixed herbs, Cajun spice, chilli powder and salt
  • 600g Quorn mince (mushroom protein mince – available in the freezer section of the supermarket)
  • 2 carrots – finely grated
  • 2 tins black beans
  • 2 tins crushed tomatoes
  • 50g tomato paste
  • 750ml veggie stock
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 cup corn flour
  • 1.2 litres milk
  • 200g shredded cheese
  • 500g fresh pasta sheets

Equipment: chopping board and knife, stock pot, smaller pot, 2 large ceramic oven dishes, oven

Steps:

  1. Mince layer: sauté onions until brown. Add garlic, chillies and spices, fry for one minute. Add mince, cook for 5 minutes. Add carrots, tomatoes, stock and bay leaves, simmer for 30 minutes (minimum) or until reduced, salt to taste. Like a good curry it will get better with time, I made mine the night before.
  2. White sauce: mix cornflour with a small amount of milk. Combine the rest of the milk and the cornflour mix in a saucepan and simmer, stirring, until it thickens. If the mix doesn’t thicken, mix more cornflour with milk and add to the pot.
  3. Assemble: sprinkle the bottom of two ceramic oven dishes with water or liquid from the mince (this will stop the pasta stocking). Place a layer of pasta, then mince, pasta, white sauce and shredded cheese. Repeat.
  4. Cook: bake at 180 degrees Celsius until brown on top.
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