Project Description

Hier geht’s zur deutschen Version.

This vegan lasagne al forno has replaced the Mac ‘n’ Cheese (which is worth learning German for, as it’s not yet been translated) as my go-to comfort food. It makes me feel comfortably sated without that overfilled feeling rich pasta dishes can sometimes lead to. The fruity, spicy ragout complements the creamy, herby béchamel sauce beautifully. But by far my favourite part of this dish is making the pasta. This is a worthwhile extra step, as the fresh lasagne really soak up the flavours of the sauces so much better than the ready made sheets. Moreover, I find that the thick, soft homemade pasta improves the texture of the dish overall. And let’s face it: feeding your very own pasta dough through a machine is just a satisfying experience. I got the recipe from the back of a bag of Demeter brand durum wheat semolina and find it yields the perfect amount of lasagne for a 33×26 cm casserole dish. Served with a nice salad, this recipe makes 8 servings and whatever is left over keeps very well in the fridge for up to a week. As is so often the case, the leftovers seem to get tastier with the passing days. I usually make this on a Saturday or Sunday and then look forward to lasagne lunches throughout the week.

Serves 6-8. 2 ½ hours

For the bolognese sauce you’ll need:

  • 200 g 2 ⅔ cup fine soy mince
  • 500 ml / 2 cups hot vegetable brothlasagne4x-min
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 T rapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 cans (240 g each) diced tomatoes
  • 100 ml / approx. ½ cup water
  • 60 ml / ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t sweet paprika
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • ½ t Tabasco (optional)
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper (optional)

 

For the pasta:lasagnepasta1-min

  • 300 g durum wheat semolina (a little over 1 ⅔ cup)
  • 140 ml water (a little less than ⅔ cup)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 t salt
  • flour for dusting your work surface

And in addition: a pasta maker and a pasta making buddy (alternatively: ready made lasagne sheets)

And for the béchamel sauce:

  • 55 g / ⅓ cup cashews
  • 350 ml / 1 ½ cups water
  • lasagne2-min150 ml / ⅔ cup white wine
  • 15 g / ¼ cup yeast flakes
  • 150 ml / ⅔ cup soy cream
  • 35 g ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ t salt

And finally, for on top:

  • 200 g vegan melty cheese alternative (In Germany, Veggie Filata
    is the best you can get for this.)

 

lasagnepastamain-min

Directions:

          1. In a medium-sized ceramic bowl, pour the hot vegetable broth (500 ml) over the soy mince and let soak for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
          2.  

          3. Finely dice the onion. Heat the oil (2 T) in a large pan and sauté onion at a low temperature until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the soy mince and brown for five minutes or so, over medium heat. Add the garlic (2), tomatoes (2 cans), water (100 ml) and tomato paste (60 ml) and stir well. Season the bolognese sauce to taste with oregano (2 t), thyme (1 t), basil (1 t), paprika (1 t), salt (1 t) and pepper (½ t). If you like it a bit spicier, add some Tabasco (½ t) and a dash or more of cayenne pepper. Our cayenne is quite hot, so we don’t use more than a dash or two. Let the ragout simmer at a low temperature for about 15 minutes. Then, turn off the stove and let it sit until it’s time to layer the lasagne.
          4.  

          5. In a medium-sized bowl mix durum wheat semolina (300 g), water (140 ml), olive oil (2 T) and salt (1 t) and knead for 3-4 minutes. Cover with a moist tea towel and let rest for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the béchamel sauce.
          6.  

          7. Place cashews (55 g), water (350 ml), white wine (150 ml), yeast flakes (15 g), soy cream (150 ml), cornstarch (35 g) and salt (¼ t) into a blender and puré until the sauce has a smooth consistency. It may appear quite liquidy but the cornstarch will thicken it during baking.
          8.  

          9. To make the pasta, flour a large surface and clamp the pasta maker onto the side. According to the instructions that came with my machine, you should never wash it with soap and water, so I always take a small piece of dough and run it through a few times to pick up any dust or dirt. Now, this is where your pasta making buddy comes in. You can do it on your own, but it’s much easier if one person turns the handle while the other handles the dough. Divide the dough into three equal parts. Press the first part flat with the palms of your hands and turn it through at the widest setting. Fold in half and turn it through, repeating this 6-8 times, until the dough is nice and smooth. Then turn it through each setting once, until you get to the second to last. Gently lay the long lasagna sheet onto the floured surface. Repeat this same procedure with the other two thirds of the dough. When finished, wipe the machine down thoroughly with a dry tea towel.
          10.  

          11. Preheat oven to 180℃ and cut the lasagne to the length needed for your casserole dish. Layer as follows: bolognese, lasagne, béchamel – three times each – and top with vegan melty cheese (200 g). Bake for about 50 minutes, until the cheese is slightly browned and crisped. Let stand 5-10 minutes prior to serving. The lasagne al forno goes well with a colourful salad and a glass of red wine.