(Looks aren’t everything) Vegetable Lasagna


OK, so it’s not the most attractive lasagna ever created but it is darn tasty and I get regular requests to make it from Mr t2kBrisbane, an avid meat-lover. The lentils provide protein, the pumpkin thickens the sauce and the olives give it a fantastic flavour. It is also economical, a great way of using up vegetables you have hanging around at the end of their days and it re-heats very well. You should get 4 adult serves from this recipe. We eat it without sides but you could serve it with a salad to really boost your vegetable intake.


Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 level tablespoon of curry powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, crush
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 level tsp of dried mixed herbs
  • 400g pumpkin, cooked and pureed
  • 415g can lentils, drained
  • 2 x 425g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 8 – 10 kalamata olives, finely chopped (These are NOT optional -if you dislike olives, use them anyway, they add great flavour but are not distinguishable)
  • 1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 8 sheets of instant lasagna
  • Salt and pepper to season

I cook my pumpkin in the microwave because it is the fastest way to cook it and it looks after itself in my handy Tupperware microwave jug. *unpaid promotion* However you like to cook your pumpkin is fine, just mash it when cooked and set aside to use later.

Preheat your oven to 180°. In a large frypan, brown the onions in a little olive oil. When the onions are soft, add the curry powder and cook for a moment until fragrant. Now add in the garlic and wine, cook off for a moment.

Then throw in the rest of the ingredients, bar the lasagna sheets and the fetta cheese. You can see here I’ve added some grated carrots and zucchini to my sauce because I like a one-dish meal and also a chunky pasta sauce.

Allow this mix to simmer for 30 minutes if you can, otherwise simmer covered until all vegetables are soft. Season with salt and pepper.

Layer your lasagna sauce with sheets in a 20cm cake pan, or a proper lasagna pan if you make a double batch.

Cut the fetta cheese and arrange over the lasagna. If you use full-fat fetta, it will crumble nicely over the dish. I use low-fat so it has to be cut into squares. If you were feeling energetic, you could whip up a bechamel sauce to go on top, but for me this has always been a healthy meal option so I never have.

Bake in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the fetta has browned and the pasta sheets are cooked. Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes (essential!) so that it melds together and can be removed easily and neatly.
This re-heats very well in the microwave and is often on the menu for work lunches for that reason. It is a tasty, very satisfying and budget-friendly meal that is a firm part of our dinner collection.

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