Rosemary’s Bake

The Best Vegetarian Lasagne

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    6

Appears in

WHOLE: Bowl Food for Balance

WHOLE

By Melissa Delport

Published 2018

  • About

This is a very special dish that is near and dear to my heart. It was first made for me by my friend Rose, who has been a big inspiration in my vegetarian cooking. Her original dish was called the Lasagn-Yoh, but after a few changes and flavour additions, this was the result.

So it is fitting that it is named after her.

Ingredients

  • coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2–3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 700 grams rosa tomatoes, halved
  • 700 millilitres tomato passata
  • 50 grams fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large butternut, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 400 grams portabellini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2–3 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 cup coconut cream (or regular cream)
  • 1 large aubergine, sliced into discs
  • 200 grams swiss chard, roughly chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 300 grams fresh ricotta cheese
  • 250 grams egg lasagne sheets (or a substitute of your choice)
  • 450 grams mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 °C.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil and the onion and garlic and fry until translucent. Add the thyme and tomatoes and fry until soft. Add the tomato passata and basil and simmer. The longer the tomato sauce simmers, the sweeter the sauce becomes. I simmer for almost 2 hours if I can, but 45 minutes should do the trick. Season to taste.

Put the butternut on a roasting tray and lightly coat with ½ tablespoon coconut oil. Sprinkle on salt and roast for 35–40 minutes or until soft. When it is ready, remove from the oven but keep the oven on.

In a small frying pan over medium to high heat, add the butter and mushrooms and fry for about 10 minutes until they are golden brown. Add the rosemary and fry for another minute. Add half the cream to the pan. Let it simmer for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and set aside.

In a large frying pan over high heat, add ½ tablespoon coconut oil. Once hot, add your discs of aubergine. Fry for about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown (add a little more oil if needed) and then set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add the Swiss chard and lemon zest. Crumble the ricotta into the bowl and toss with the Swiss chard.

Add the butternut to a large lasagne dish and pat down to make a compact flat layer. Top with four ladles of tomato sauce. Add the lasagne sheets by lining them up next to each other to make one even layer. You do not need to soak the lasagne first, it will cook out when you bake the dish.

Add the mushrooms on top of the lasagne layer. Smooth out to all corners of the dish. Add the Swiss chard on top. Pack it down and get as much in as you can. It wilts when you bake it so won’t take up nearly as much space.

Now add another layer of lasagne sheets followed by a layer of aubergine discs. Assemble it so that it makes a full layer. Cover with the rest of the tomato sauce and then pour over the rest of the cream. Finally cover with the mozzarella slices. Don’t be shy and make sure you don’t miss a spot. Sprinkle half the Parmesan over the top.

Bake for 35–40 minutes. Keep an eye on the cheese so it doesn’t burn, but let it get a bit crispy. Serve with an extra sprinkling of Parmesan.