Slow-Cooked Red Wine and Bay Leaf Lentil Lasagna

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This lasagna is so warming and delicious…and it can even have the meatiest of eaters enjoy eating a vegan lasagna. I used a Merlot wine because it compliments bay leaf, thyme and black olives very well due to it’s spiced plum flavour. I also used porcini water as a stock, making a bery deep tomato sauce. This recipe will take you to lasagna heaven and have you craving more the next day!


Preparation time: 4 hours (including soaking and cooking time)


Ingredients (Serves 6):

Lentil Filling:

  • 250g Red Lentils
  • 200g Lentilles Vertes
  • 50g Dried Porcini Mushrooms
  • 15 Kalamata Olives pitted (from a jar with stones)
  • 3/4 cup Tarragon finely chopped
  • 6 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 4 Garlic Cloves slices finely
  • 3 Red Birdseye Chillies chopped finely
  • 16 Ruby Jewel Plum Tomatoes blended
  • 10 bay leaves
  • 50cl Merlot Chile Curicó Valley Wine
  • 6 cups Boiling Water
  • 1/3 cup White Onion finely diced
  • Salt

Cashew Cheese Sauce:

  • 3 cups Raw Unsalted Cashew Nuts
  • 6 cups Boiling Water
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp White Pepper
  • Salt

Pasta:

  • 20 Gluten Free Lasagna Sheets

Method:

  1. Using a plate gently sift through all your dried lentils to ensure there are no stones or grit hidden
  2. Rinse the lentils in cold water
  3. Place the lentils in a saucepan or a metal bowl and cover with boiling water and set aside for one hour
  4. Place your porcini mushrooms in a second metal bowl and cover with 6 cups of boiling water and cover the bowl with a plate and leave to soak for 1 hour too
  5. Once the lentils have soaked, drain them
  6. Drain the porcini mushrooms to collect the water they were soaked in using a fine seive to remove grit (also squeeze mushrooms in seive to extract as much flavour as possible)
  7. In a large sauce pan heat 5 tbsp of olive oil
  8. Place the red chillies, garlic, bay leaves, tarragon and thyme into the hot oil and cook for 1-2 minutes (do not burn)
  9. Pour in the blended tomatoes into the hot saucepan with the porcini water (leave the end bit of the water as this may contain sediment)
  10. Add the olives, onion and 30cl of the Merlot to the saucepan
  11. Salt the sauce generously
  12. Add the lentils to the sauce and boil/simmer on the stove for 1 hour, constantly stiring to prevent any burning at the base of the pan
  13. 45 minutes in to the boiling time add the remaining Merlot wine
  14. By the one hour point the sauce should be reduced toma thick mixture ans the lentils should be cooked- if not cook longer
  15. Fish out the thyme twigs and the bay leaves and set aside
  16. In a second saucepan boil the cashew nuts in 6 cups of boiling water for 25 minutes
  17. Boil the lasagna sheets in oiled salted water for approx 6 minutes (boil in batches because gluten free sheets stick together when boiled and tear)
  18. Place the cashew nuts into a blender with the oil, salt and pepper for the cheese sauce and keep the boiling water aside
  19. Once the cashews have blended into thick cream and all the water used to boil them gradually into the blender until a thick creamy sauce consistency is achieved (add more boiling water if needed)
  20. Check the cheese sauce for enough salt to create a cheesey flavour
  21. Assemble your lasagna into approx. 4 layers of pasta, lining the base of the baking dish with a thin layer of lentils, followed by pasta sheets, cheese sauce and then another layer of lentils
  22. On the top of the lasagna finish the cheese sauce and place some of the bay leaves on top for garnish and to eat once crispy…yum!
  23. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  24. Bake the lasagna for 25 minutes until the top is crispy and the middle lasagna sheets are soft
  25. Serve up and Enjoy my Little Peas!
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