A lasagne without lasagne sheets! I grew up with this family favourite dish, never knowing that lasagne is actually a type of pasta. For as long as I can remember, we used bright green spinach tagliatelle instead. This recipe has been passed on and amended through the generations, and when it finally got to me, I had no choice but to veganize the ingredients and carry on the tradition.
Eating lasagne has always been a special occasion in our home – never eaten in front of the television and never served without crispy garlic bread, a big green salad and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. If I’m making this recipe to impress guests, I’ll splurge on indulgent ingredients such as Beyond Meat or Fry’s meat-free mince and Nature & Moi vegan mozzarella or Woolworths Dairy-free cheddar cheese, and I also use Knorr Thick White Onion Soup to make a rich, creamy sauce. However, when I’m whipping up lasagne as an average weekday dinner or don’t have time to pop into the shops, I substitute these ingredients with pantry essentials like brown lentils or dehydrated soy mince and a homemade cheese sauce or an ordinary flour-based white sauce. Sometimes, I even cheat and use real lasagne sheets 😉
Leo's Not-So-Lasagne Lasagne
A veganised version of my family-favourite lasagne - without lasagne sheets! A hearty dish, perfect for any occasion!
- 500g spinach tagliatelle (make sure it's egg-free )
- 1 teaspoon oil for pasta (I use B-Well Canola or coconut oil)
- 1 teaspoon oil for frying (I use B-Well Canola or coconut oil)
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 450g meat-free mince *
- 1x teaspoon gravy powder, dissolved in 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs
- 1/2 teaspoon dried origanum
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 4x dried bay leaves
- Pinch of salt
- 1x can tomato, basil, garlic & origanum mix (you can use regular chopped tomato and onion mix)
- 1x 100g tomato paste
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- 1x tomatoes, sliced into 8 thin rings
- 1x packet Knorr Thick White Onion Soup
- 800ml unsweetened soy milk
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 60ml unsweetened soy milk (to mix with corn starch)
- 1 cup vegan cheese, grated (I used Nature & Moi mozzarella)
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water and drizzle with a tablespoon of oil, mix through with your hands. Set aside.
Make the mince: Heat oil in pan, add onion and fry till translucent.
Add garlic and fry till slightly browned and fragrant, take it off heat.
Add mince and mix through the onion and garlic mixture.
Put back on heat and turn to medium.
Add gravy mix, mixed herbs, rosemary and 4x bay leaves to the pan. Add salt to taste.
Fry until all the mince is cooked.
Add the can of chopped tomato and tomato paste, mix and cook through. (Taste your mince mix, every tomato and onion mix tastes different. If your mince is too sour, add a tablespoon of sugar and mix through.)
Remove from heat and set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Make the white sauce: Mix the corn-starch with the 60ml unsweetened soy milk until dissolved and set aside. In a saucepan, mix onion soup powder with 800ml room temperature soy milk until all powder is dissolved. Place on high heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer the mixture, add the corn-starch mixture and cook until the sauce is thick, whisking continuously. Taste and season with salt (and extra onion and garlic powder if neede). Remove from heat and set aside.
Spray oven-proof dish with cook and spray.
Spread one layer of tagliatelle on the bottom. Add a layer of mince mix. Sprinkle 1/2 of the green onion over the mince mix, pour half of the sauce over. Repeat: pasta, mince, green pepper, sauce.
Sprinkle grated cheese on top.
Add slices of tomato as garnish (one per block).
Bake for 20 - 30 minutes at 180degrees Celsius until the sides are bubbling and the cheese is melted and grilled.
Instead of the Beyond or Fry's mince you can use 2-3 cups cooked brown lentils cook your lentils prior to making the lasagne); or canned lentils in brine; or 1 cup dehydrated soy mince that has been soaked in 2 cups vegan beef stock for about 10 minutes.