Lasagne al Noci
A show stopping plant-powered lasagne which has the indulgence of a rich walnut ragu and creamy butternut squash béchamel – and packs a nutritious punch of goodness!
Pop your kettle on, preheat your oven 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 and once ready, pour boiling water over your chopped (or pulsed in a mixer) walnuts to soak and soften up for a good 30 minutes (this’ll be the omega-rich “mince meat” plant-powered body of your ragu sauce).
Throw a glug of olive oil into a medium casserole dish on a medium heat, adding your chopped shallots. Let those sweat till translucent and then drop the heat to low as you add garlic, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes to the pan stirring to coat. Now cover it and leave for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While that’s going, get your carrots finely chopped (or even easier is to pulse them like the walnuts in a mixer). You want them to have a similar cut to your minced walnuts which are half soaked by now.
Now it’s time to pile into your sauce with the flavour, add your fresh basil and oregano, the tomato passata, the juice of half a lemon, and finally, the red wine and balsamic vinegar. Stir the mixture frequently for around 10 minutes, keeping it on a low heat.
Now chop your broccoli head up and whack it in a steamer for a longer cook than you’d normally do around 10-15 minutes. Once soft you can now really cut all this outrageously good chlorophyll-rich broccoli to a fine chop.
Place a pan of water on to boil. Top and tail and peel the squash. Chop into medium sized pieces. Add to the boiling water and cook for around 10-15 minutes, until soft. Drain well. Keep to one side.
Whilst this is simmering, it’s time to work on the béchamel sauce. First add the olive oil to a medium saucepan (on a medium heat) along with the garlic and yeast flakes. Add the flour (bit by bit and ideally through a sieve to keep it fine and less clumpy!) and mix to a paste (using a whisk makes this and the next step extra easy).
Gradually add the oat milk (any unsweetened milk works, but we’ve found oat milk has a brilliant natural savoury flavour) go 40 ml at a time, mixing very well. Do this until all of the milk is used up and the sauce is nice and smooth. Bring the sauce to the boil and then take it off of the heat.
Place the cooked squash and béchamel into a mixer and blitz until smooth.
Now drain your walnuts, mix in the carrots and add this to your ragu sauce… as you mix this you’ll be amazed at how much this looks like a classic Bolognese. Let it all simmer together for another 5 minutes and season to taste.
Now it’s time to build your lasagne! Grab a medium oven dish and start with a layer of your ragu (use around half of your ragu here), spread and even this out, and then add your first layer of lasagne sheets. Add a thin layer of your béchamel sauce, and then sprinkle in your finely chopped broccoli, before covering this with the rest of your ragu. Now add your second layer of lasagne sheets and top with a thick helping of your butternut béchamel. To finish crumble some extra walnuts on top with chopped fresh basil or thyme.
Whack your lasagne straight into the preheated oven on the middle shelf for around 25-30 minutes, until the top of the lasagne is golden.
“Our plant-powered lasagne is a showstopper with the indulgence of our rich walnut ragu and creamy butternut squash béchamel, while packing a nutritious punch of goodness. One for a hearty taste from the Italian garden on a winter’s day.”
Recipe courtesy of allplants