Monday, 15 December 2014


Pascal has been talking about cooking a vegetarian lasagne for about 4 years so we decided to take the bull by the horns and finally make one this weekend. I am feeling a bit down at the moment as Arabella has gone to my ex husband's for two weeks and I am missing her like crazy. Thank god for chocolate and TV!!

Anyway I searched through my numerous recipes and found this one in Fay Ripley's second book. Pascal was a little unsure as he was expecting a lasagne with vegetables such as aubergine and mushrooms rather than lentils and celery but like all Fay creations, it all worked well in the end. I did make a few alterations like using a cheese sauce as Pascal doesn't like white sauce and obviously adding more cheese!!

Ingredients for 4-6 people:

400g fresh spinach
1 x 300g pack of fresh lasagne (we did have 3 sheets left over)
2 x 125g ball mozzarella cheese
500ml cheese sauce

Lentil Sauce:
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stick, trimmed and finely chopped
Splash of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
150g red lentils, rinsed
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
150ml vegetable or chicken stock
Around 250g grated cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 180C fan / 200C  / gas mark 6.
To make the lentil sauce, heat some oil in a large pan and then fry the onion, celery and carrot for 5 minutes.

Then add the garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes.

Next pour in the lentils, tomato puree, tomatoes and stock and season well. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat, put the lid on and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While this is cooking, cook the spinach in a microwave or saucepan with a splash of water, for around 5 minutes. Then drain out the excess water - I always find it amazing how much it shrinks!!

To assemble the lasagne, spread 3 tablespoons of the lentil sauce into the base of an ovenproof dish - the one we used was around 20 x 25 cm according to Pascal's "hand measuring technique" - so that is a real guesstimate!

Then layer on the pasta.

Then 3 ladles of lentil sauce and cheese sauce. 

Spread over half the spinach.

Sprinkle 3 large handfuls of grated cheese.

Add the pasta again and then repeat the whole process until you have finished with all the ingredients. After my second layer of spinach and cheese, I added another layer of pasta.

Then I covered it with the remaining cheese sauce and tore over the mozzarella.

Finally bake in the oven for 35 minutes.

Leave to stand for 5 minutes and then serve and enjoy.

Another successful recipe from Fay Ripley, this was surprisingly very good and way exceeded our expectations. I was thinking about what I was going to do with the 350g of red lentils I have left over - I now know I will be using them again to make this. Delicious and kid friendly, a real triumph! 

Randomly as I was reading the Sunday paper's after lunch, I saw a recipe in the Times from Jamie Oliver's new book for a vegetarian lasagne with aubergines, mushrooms, squash, courgettes etc, just like Pascal was imagining. It looked good, but this one looked better and easier ;-)

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