This Vegetable Lasagne is anything but simple and fast, but once you know your way around making the various elements, you will have a great dinner-party classic that your meat-loving friends will LOVE and your vegan friends will appreciate. If you are entertaining non-vegans, simply replace the oil and almond milk (used in the white sauce) with butter and milk – and use real cheese at the end. Just be sure to keep it low-fat as much as you can.
- 900g butternut squash, sliced 5mm (trimmed weight)
- 400g courgette, trimmed and sliced 5mm (trimmed weight)
- 1 TB olive oil, to roast the vegetables
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil, additional to fry the onions
- 1 red onion, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 2 TB red wine vinegar
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 300g baby spinach
- 2 TB tomato concentrate
- 2 TB olive oil, to make the white sauce
- 3 ½ TB plain flour
- 500ml unsweetened almond milk
- pinch nutmeg
- 9 dried sheets lasagne sheets (egg-free)
- 120g vegan cheese, grated
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Toss the slices of butternut squash and sliced courgettes in the olive oil until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper and spread out on a large roasting tray. Roast for 30-35 minutes until the vegetables have softened and slightly caramelised. You will need to do this in two batches due to the volume of vegetables. Remove and set aside.
- In the meantime, in a large pan, heat a teaspoon olive oil and gently fry the onions and garlic until softened and slightly caramelised. Add the dried herbs and the red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan. Empty the tinned tomatoes into the pan, then fill the tin hallway with water, and add this water too. Simmer the mixture for 20 minutes, before adding in all the spinach. Stir well to wilt the spinach into the tomato mixture, then stir in the tomato concentrate. The water released from the spinach needs to evaporate from the mixture, so keep the tomato/spinach mixture cooking on a low heat until it has thickened and most of the moisture is gone. Set aside.
- Make the white sauce by adding the two tablespoons of olive oil and flour to a clean pan. Over moderate heat, whisk in the almond milk and continue cooking on a low heat for at least 15 minutes to allow the flour to cook out. Season with a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper.
- Egg-free lasagne sheets are dried, so they are best partially cooked in boiling water for 1-20 minutes, then removed.
- Assuming all the elements are cooked and ready, increase the oven temperature to 200°C. Grease a deep, roasting dish and spread 1/3 of the tomato/spinach mixture on the bottom of it. Place 3 lasagne sheets side by side on top of the tomatoes, then spread 1/3 of the white sauce on top of it, covering exposed lasagne totally. Layer half of the roasted butternut pieces on top of the white sauce and cover with another third of the tomato mixture. Cover this with all the roasted courgette slices, and lay 3 more lasagne slices on top. Spread a third more white sauce to cover the lasagne, followed by the second half of the roasted butternut. Add the remaining tomato mixture over the butternut and lay the last 3 lasagne sheets over. Spread the remaining third white sauce over the whole dish and dover with grated cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve immediately with a lovely, fresh salad.