DRMacIver's Notebook

Vegetarian Lasagne Recipe

Vegetarian Lasagne Recipe

(Writing up a vegetarian lasagne recipe I made the other day because I’ve been getting requests).

This has four ingredients:

  1. Crown Prince Squash, cut into roughly 2cm cubes and roasted in butter (you can use oil if you like. In general this recipe has a lot of butter)
  2. Wholewheat lasagne noodles
  3. Grated Mozzarella
  4. Very Red Sauce (recipe for this below. This is the only labour intensive bit)

Crown Prince Squash are much much better than butternut squash and are thankfully in season at the moment. They look like this. I get mine from West Hampstead Farmers Market, which is open on Saturday 10:00-14:00, where they are fairly cheap (£2.50 each, which means £5 gets you more squash then you will probably want to eat in a week). I think a bunch of the middle-eastern and organic vegetable stores in that area also sell them on other days.

To make it you stack layers:

  1. Squash
  2. Very red sauce
  3. Noodles
  4. Very red sauce
  5. Mozzarella

I usually do two of these on top of each other, with extra mozzarella on top for extra crispy cheesiness.

Very Red Sauce

This is basically just a rich vegetarian, vegetable heavy, tomato sauce with some variations. Unfortunately there’s no real formal recipe because I improvise it each time, so this is mostly reconstructed by guess work. Feel free to adapt it or substitute some standard recipe.

It’s best made the day before and left to sit overnight on the counter (if you’re not feeling brave you can skip this bit) and then in the fridge.

The way I make this is very dependent on having both a food processor and a pressure cooker. You can almost certainly make it differently without those.

The following makes enough for two large lasagnes:

  1. 4 medium sized onions
  2. 4 large carrots
  3. 4 medium sized beetroot
  4. 1 liter of tomato passata
  5. 1 can chopped tomatoes
  6. 250g salted butter (yes, you’re reading that right)
  7. A lot of black pepper
  8. Two large spoons of marmite
  9. 5 or so bay leaves.

You shouldn’t add any salt to this - between the butter and the marmite it’s got plenty believe me.

First roast the beetroot. Once it’s roasted, peel it (I use kitchen gloves for this - the skin should just come off once it’s roasted).

Dice the onions, and put them in the pressure cooker with the butter and lots of ground black pepper. Leave them on a medium heat to brown.

While those are browning, peel the carrots, then grated them and the beetroot (this is where the foot processor comes in - I just use the grater extension). Add these to the onion, stir them together, and leave to cook for a while longer - say 20-30 minutes.

Once that’s looking cooked (unfortunately you can’t judge this in a pressure cooker, so I do guess work plus putting it back on if it’s not ready), add the tomato, bay leaves, and marmite, stir thoroughly, and then cook on a low heat for an hour or so.

After that, the sauce is ready except for the waiting. Really do leave it overnight - it will be much better the next day.