(this is a video of the sizzling goodness)
It's time to celebrate Easter! What better way than with this Easter Treat -- lamb-saving lasagna! (Borrowed from School Night Vegan)
I was gonna do a hot cross bun recipe. And it's nice and all (actually it's amazing) - but with the weather so GD glorious, I frankly couldn't be bothered. But there was of course a much better option and, I think, a pretty damn fantastic alternative for an Easter Sunday lunch - lasagna.
Ok, I know some people will just think that's WRONG. But hear me out - this is a big hearty meal. It's DELICIOUS. And who says you cannot have roast potatoes with lasagna? WHO?
Also no dead lambies....
First before I get into the recipe I need to make it suuuper clear - this recipe is the work of the genius School Night Vegan. I don't wanna get all fan girl about him - but he's pretty much a genius and if you are dipping your toe into vegan cooking for the first time - head over there. I feed this lasagna to die hard meat eaters regularly and they love it.
1 red onion, (peeled and finely diced)
1 carrot, (finely diced)
3 cloves garlic, (finely diced or crushed)
¼ tsp smoked paprika
350 g vegan burgers, (SNV says it's 3 beyond burgers - if I'm opening two packets, which is 4 patties, I just chuck them all in and it's still super delish. Also some supermarkets now stock the mince)
2 cans peeled plum tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp vegan stock
½ tsp sugar
200 ml boiling water
70 g vegan butter
60 g plain white flour
600 ml plant milk (I used Oat)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Topping (I'm gonna be honest - you can skip this bit if you can't be arsed)
1 tbsp tapioca starch (this can be tricky to find - I ordered mine on amazon)
2 tbsp water
lasagna sheets - how many you use depends on how "layery" you want it - SNV estimates about Some notes on ingredients - it's all pretty self explanatory - except with the lasagna sheets make sure you aren't choosing the non-egg ones - hint the cheaper ones usually have no egg (win!). For the butter I just use the block stuff... There's a good variety these days.
Break apart the Beyond Burgers so it looks like mince.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, pour a splash of olive oil and once hot add the onion, carrot and garlic. Sautee for three minutes until the onion is turning translucent. Add the paprika and stir to combine then fry for another minute or two
(the wine is optional - but highly recommended. For you. Whilst cooking...)
Add the mince and stir to combine. Fry for two minutes or until the mince is starting to brown (you may need to add a dash more oil at this stage). Once the mince is cooked, add the remaining "meat" sauce ingredients and stir to combine. Allow to simmer, stirring frequently until the sauce has thickened nicely and the tomatoes are cooked and broken down (SVN says 10 minutes - which is fine - but I like to do it for longer because the sauce gets super flavorsome.).
Place the vegan butter in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat. Allow the vegan butter to melt fully until it starts to bubble. Add the flour and stir to combine. Keep stirring to allow the flour to cook for around 30 seconds before adding a small drizzle of the milk and whisking vigorously until smooth. Add the rest of the milk in additions, whisking between each one to ensure the béchamel stays smooth.
Once all the milk is added, add the remaining béchamel ingredients and whisk to combine. Whisking frequently, bring the béchamel to a gentle simmer so that bubbles are rising to the surface - keep whisking until the sauce is thick (around 10 minutes - and truly it does thicken - TRUST THE PROCESS).
Put it all together
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Reserve a quarter of the béchamel and set aside. In a lasagna tin wide enough to accommodate three pasta sheets width-ways, place a layer of the meat sauce. Top with three sheets of lasagna pasta, followed by a layer of béchamel and then three more sheets of pasta. Repeat the process until you have four pasta layers and a topping of béchamel sauce. Place in the oven for 20 minutes (as you will see I couldn't manage 3 - so I just snapped one in half - it breaks into shards but whatev)
While the lasagna cooks, whisk together the tapioca starch and the water until smooth. Add the tapioca slurry to the rest of the béchamel and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Once the lasagna has been in the oven for 20 minutes, remove it, add the remaining béchamel and return to the oven for a further 7 minutes. Once 7 minutes are up, open the oven door and move the lasagna to the top shelf. Turn on the grill and grill until browned.
This makes AMAZING leftovers and if you want to make it in advance it freezes really well. To cook from frozen I just put it a cold oven, turn the oven up to 180C and cook for like an hour.