I've been meaning to put a recipe for a Veggie Lasagne online for sometime, but decided against it as I thought I'd try something a little more challenging, a Vegan Lasagne.
The cheese sauce topping is made using Sheese, a dairy free cheese substitute and there's a recipe for Macaroni Cheese on their website that I adapted the sauce from.
2x Cloves Garlic, Grated
1x Carrot, Grated
1/2x Medium Butternut Squash, Peeled, deseeded and chopped into 1cm cubes (keep the seeds for garnishing the top of the lasagne)
1x Sweet Potato, Peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes
200g Mushrooms, Sliced
150g Spinach, Washed
6x Vine Ripened Tomatoes, Halved
6-8x Sheets of Lasagne Verdi (you may require more depending on the size of the oven dish you are using)
1x Slice of Bread, Crumbed
2tbsp Sun-dried Tomato Purée
125g Gouda Sheese, Grated
300ml, Soya Milk
A pinch of Sage
Salt and Pepper to taste
Note - The above picture of my ingredients shows a tin of Tomatoes that I didn't end up using, please ignore.
Start by grating onions, garlic and carrot and adding to a frying pan with a little oil, salt, the oregano and basil. Heat to a medium temperature and cook gently for around ten minutes.
Whilst this is frying, peel and chop the squash and sweet potato. I find it best to cut the squash just above the bulbous part, as this separates the lower section that needs deseeding and the upper that does not.
Scoop the seeds and pith out into a bowl of warm water and set aside for now. Leaving the seeds to soak for around 45 minutes to an hour in water will soften the pith and allow them to be easily separated later.
Chop the sweet potato and butternut squash into 1cm cubes and add to a pan of water and bring to the boil. Parboil for around 5 minutes, there's no real need to cook for much longer as they will cook further in the oven dish later on.
Slice mushrooms and tomatoes and add to the pan with the onions, carrots and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Drain the water from the squash and sweet potato and add to the pan.
Preheat the oven to 180°c. Mix the ingredients in the pan thoroughly, adding in the tomato purée and spinach, allow to heat gently whilst you begin to prepare the Sheese sauce.
If you would prefer to make a dairy based topping, simply follow the sauce recipe from the Casareccia and Cheddar Bake post here. For the Sheese sauce, add around 50ml of olive oil to a non stick pan and slowly heat and stir, as though making a roux. Next start to gradually add in the grated Gouda, leaving around 25g aside for topping the lasagne later. As you add the Sheese it can tend to clump together a little, unlike regular cheese. Do not worry as it begins to melt properly as you add in the soya milk.
Slowly begin to mix in the soya milk and heat gently until the Sheese is fully melted. You can always add in more/less soya milk should the mixture be too thick/runny, also add extra herbs and a little pepper to the sauce to give it a deeper flavour.
At this point, you should be able to separate seeds from the pith by placing in a colander and rinsing off any excess. Pat dry using kitchen roll and place on greaseproof paper in the preheated oven with a little salt and sage to season and cook for around 10 minutes, allowing to go golden brown. If you don't wish to add the seeds to the lasagne topping, they make a tasty snack on their own.
Make your breadcrumbs, you can use store bought here if you wish however, I tend to bake one slice of wholemeal bread at around 140°c for 5 minutes until it dries out but doesn't toast and then finely chop.
Begin to layer the lasagne, starting at the base with the squash and sweet potato mixture, then add a layer of pasta followed by the mixture again and repeat until you reach the top of the dish, finishing up with a layer of pasta (remember to leave room for the Sheese topping).
Spread the Sheese sauce out evenly onto the top of the lasagne and bake for around 20mins in the oven at 180°c.
After 20 minutes, remove from the oven and add any extra toppings. In this case, extra sheese, breadcrumbs and squash seeds. Bake for a further 20-25 minutes until the topping is crisp and golden brown and the pasta has cooked.