Mandy Hall’s Hearty Vegetarian Lasagne
Who doesn’t love a good Lasagne… this is definitely a weekend dish as it does take some time to put together but it is so very worth it, rich and full of flavour, perfect to feed the masses, the addition of mushrooms is very satisfying!
Prep time: 30-35mins
Cook time: 60mins
Serves 6 people generously.
*20g dried porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil + a little more if required
2 medium or 1 large onion roughly diced
*1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped or crushed
3 – 4 sprigs of thyme
600g of fresh mushrooms, use any
combination or one variation of Swiss, Field, Portabello and Button – sliced
*Salt and pepper to season
1 bay leaf
700g good quality passata
150 – 200g fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
*80g grated parmesan + extra to sprinkle on top
1 packet fresh lasagne sheets – *or you can use dried Lasagne sheets, prepare as per manufacturer’s instructions
75g plain flour
1 litre milk
1 tbsp salt
Ground pepper to season
60g parmesan or any grated cheddar
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Soak the dried Porcini mushrooms in 150ml of boiling water for a minimum of 5 minutes.
Heat oil in large pot over a medium/high heat, turn down heat to low/medium and add onion and salt, cook for 5 minutes, add garlic, cook for a further 1 minute before adding Thyme sprigs, turn up the heat, add mushrooms, add more oil if needed (if there is not enough room for all the mushrooms, add batches at a time, remove one batch when starting to brown, add another batch until all are cooked, return all mushrooms to the pot).
Add the porcini and the soaking liquid, cook for 3-5 minutes or until all liquid has evaporated. Stir in passata and 200ml of water, season well with salt and pepper and leave on a low heat to gently simmer for 15 minutes, turn off heat and let sit.
Meanwhile make your bechamel. In a large saucepan over a medium heat, add butter and cook until melted and bubbling, add flour and stir for 2 minutes until the mix is smooth and golden.
Gradually add the milk to the mix, whisking in between each addition, keep whisking & continue to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, until thick and smooth, turn off heat and whisk in cheese, season with salt and pepper.
Assemble Lasagne. I use a Lasagne dish that is approx. 30cm long. Spoon one third of the mushroom mixture into the lasagne dish and spread across the bottom, then top with one quarter of the bechamel and a few slices of mozzarella, top with fresh lasagne sheets, repeat this process until you finish with a final layer of bechamel – sprinkle the top bechamel layer with the parmesan, cover with a piece of baking paper and then foil.
Bake for 50 minutes, remove baking paper and foil then bake a for a further 10 minutes until the top is cooked and golden. Remove from the oven, let sit for 5 minutes, slice and serve.
NOTES & TIPS
*Adding salt when cooking onions helps draw out the moisture, it helps brown onions a little faster.
*Dried porcini mushrooms are available all year around and can be found in the fruit and veg section at Frewville and Pasadena, they have a rich and deep flavour and are a fabulous addition to this meat free dish.