Beetroot and Lentil Lasagne

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Preparation info

  • Serves

    6–8

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Vegan(ish)

Vegan(ish)

By Jack Monroe

Published 2019

  • About

This beetroot and lentil version is bright and beautiful, a stunning showstopper of a centrepiece on any dinner table, and packed with goodness and nutrients, too. You can use any colour lentils you like – bear in mind green and brown take far longer to cook, but hold their shape and texture better and have more of a ‘meaty’ bite to them. The fennel isn’t mandatory – you can use a leek or onion instead if your budget won’t stretch to it.

Ingredients

  • 250 g dried red lentils
  • 1 litre vegetable or chicken-style stock – I like Osem
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bulb of fennel, or 1 extra onion or 1 leek
  • 6 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 large raw beetroots
  • 2 × 400 g cartons of passata or tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 2 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 1 box of lasagne sheets
  • 500 ml Smoky vegan ‘cheese’ Sauce
  • 200 g greens, finely chopped – kale, spinach or chard are best
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • rocket or green leaves, to serve (optional)

Method

  1. First cook your lentils; rinse them thoroughly under a cold running tap for a minute to reduce the amount of scum that accumulates when they cook. Pop them into a pan with the stock, or the same volume of water. Do not add salt. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until soft.
  2. In a separate pan, cook the veg. Finely slice the onion and fennel, and peel and finely chop the garlic. Transfer to a large non-stick frying or sauté pan with the oil and salt. Grate the beetroots – or blitz them in a small blender or food processor – and add to the pan. Cook low and slow for 20 minutes, while the lentils simmer.
  3. When the lentils are swollen and the veg are soft, drain and rinse the lentils to get rid of any scum, and tip them into the veg pan. Cover with the tomatoes and wine, add the herbs and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 20 minutes to combine. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/gas 4).
  4. Spread a 1 cm layer of the beetroot-lentil mixture on the bottom of a 20 × 30 cm ovenproof dish or roasting tin. Lay enough lasagne sheets over the top to cover. Top with a thin layer of ‘cheese’ sauce, then finely chopped greens. Repeat until all the mixture is gone or the dish is full, usually around four layers of pasta sheets. Finish with a layer of ‘cheese’ sauce, and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  5. Bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 40 minutes, or until the pasta is soft and a knife inserted into the centre goes through easily. Serve piping hot.