Meatless lasagna - why?
Because lasagna in my opinion is one of those foods that everyone loves. And it is so comforting! Plus in comparison with pasta - you need to put a bit more effort in it and that is why I find it to be a more well-rounded dish!
Usually I don’t buy soya replacements for meat. I use lentils - like in this vegan bolognese recipe. But to impress a meat eater (like I had to on multiple occasions last week) that vegetarian/vegan food is actually good I had to pull a trick out of my sleeve.
Joker card - soya chunks
I don’t know how it is possible but soya chunks add almost identical texture to the dish as would mince meat. In Slovenia they are super cheap to buy, widely accessible and practical to use. The ones I bough are not seasoned so you can really add the flavors you want to them. So this is a joker card I pull out of the sleeve when I need to put my “convincing pants on” when cooking for nonbelievers.
How to eat lasagna more often?
I do start a lot of my recipes with “This is so easy to make!” or “It will only take you 15 minutes!” And lasagna is not one of those recipes.
If you want it to be really tasty you need to cook the ragu for some time (I already used really short time in this recipe). Homemade béchamel is irreplaceable and it also takes some time and so on …
So my suggestion is that if you will not eat all of it - just freeze it in portions for later. You will thank yourself soooooo much when you will find something as delicious as this in your freezer.
Bon appétit darlings!
For the ragu
For the béchamel
The other ingredients
Soak the soya chunks in a lot of water and set aside.
Peel and finely chop the onions. Heat up the pan and add oil, onions, bay leaves and spices. Start cooking the onions on medium heat for 10 minutes. After that add salt, garlic and start adding wine gradually. Cook for 10 minutes more and stir occasionally.
At the end add drained soya chunks ad cook for 10 minutes more. Set aside, add sesame oil, mix well, check the taste.
Mmm, béchamel ...
Melt the butter in a pot. Gradually add flour and gently whisk it while it cooks for 3-5 minutes (it needs to slightly change the colour).
Start adding milk GRADUALLY! It will take you about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup, whisk and then repeat after the flour absorbs all the liquid.
When you have used all the milk the texture should be nicely smooth and silky. Add salt and nutmeg, mix and set aside.
Start preheating the oven on 180°C/355°F.
Take a baking a tray 36 x 21 cm / 14,2 x 8,3 inch. We will assemble our lasagna in layers.
- Add 1/4 of béchamel sauce and spread it evenly on the bottom of the tray.
- Take 4 pieces of pasta and place them evenly on béchamel.
- Spread evenly 1/4 of tomato sauce on pasta sheets.
- Top evenly with 1/3 of soya chunks ragu.
Repeat this two more times.
At the end finish with:
1/4 of bechamel sauce + 4 pasta shets + 1/4 of tomato sauce and top with grated cheese.
Bake for 40-45 minutes. When you take it out of the oven wait for 5 minutes and then serve!
* I know this isn’t the most common ingredient BUT TRUST ME! It is like a secret of the whole thing. Sesame oil adds so much depth it is insane.
It is super easy to make a vegan version of this just make sure to use good plant-based cheese that melts.
In one version I added small florets of broccoli between the layers and it added really nice texture to the dish!