Friday 11 February 2011

Puy Lentil, Portabello Mushroom and Baby Spinach Free Form Lasagna

Puy Lentil, Portabello Mushroom and Baby Spinach Free Form Lasagna - vegan

Puy Lentil, Portabello Mushroom and Baby Spinach Free Form Lasagna - vegan

Ok, from a 'back to basics' post to something altogether more complicated! This was seriously good. I'm so glad I'm getting this in before Valentine's Day too as it would make a great entree for two. The idea of a free form lasagna has been knocking about in my head for quite a while now, I saw it done once before in a cookbook somewhere and loved the simplicity of it.

Back when we were vegetarian my favourite lasagna was a spinach and mushroom one so decided to base this on that. I opted for a puy lentil tomato sauce, as the puy really is the king of lentils, portabello mushrooms as they were a good size in this (although, technically I think those are large flat mushrooms!) and some baby spinach - not too much as you don't want it to overpower the dish. For an extra sauce I also made a mustardy nutritional yeast sauce and it goes so well in this. *2012 Edit - I have changed this sauce to my new favourite creamy garlic sauce as it works even better!*

I will be making this one often for sure, even as I'm typing this my belly is full up with it! Although there are a lot of steps if you get everything weighed out and ready before hand it'll go smoothly enough :-)

Recipe serves 2.

Puy Lentil Tomato Sauce:

200g passata (sieved tomato sauce)
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped - or 2
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
50g dry weight puy lentils (OR 1/2 a 400g can of lentils)
freshly ground black pepper
4 lasagna sheets - about 75g

You will need to cook the lentils first and they do take 45 minutes. I did them on the day but it would make your job easier to do this a day before. Wash and rinse the lentils well and place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Put a lid on and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 35 minutes. Check the water levels now and again. Drain and rinse in cold water and set aside or place in the fridge, covered until needed. *If using tinned lentils, omit this step and simply add them as stated below.*

Gently heat the olive oil and fry the garlic just until fragrant. Add the passata, herbs, salt and pepper and stir well. Simmer this with the lid on while you cook the noodles. After it cooks down a little bit add the lentils, stir well and continue to simmer until it thickens up a bit.

Put a large pot of salted water on high heat. When boiling add the noodles - place them in different directions so they are less likely to stick together. Boil for about 10 minutes or whatever the package says. I used the type that you are to use dried in a baked lasagna but found 10 minutes to be perfect for boiling. If you are cooking for guests you might want to cook a couple extra sheets here in case they break or tear while cooking.

Cheezy Garlic Sauce:

15g vegan margarine
10g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, about 7g
150ml unsweetened soy milk
1/2 tsp agave syrup
1/2 tsp lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper

First, I like to grind the nutritional yeast flakes in a mortar and pestle to get them into a fine powder so it melts into the sauce easier. Add the salt, garlic powder and dried parsely to this and mix well. Add it to the milk and whisk until smooth. Add the margarine to a saucepan and add the milk mixture. Turn the heat on and sprinkle over the flour, start whisking and keep whisking until the margarine melts and the flour has dissolved. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir until it thickens up. Add the agave and lemon juice then turn off the heat and give it a stir now and again to let it thicken up even more as you don't want this sauce very runny.

Source: Based on Chloe Coscarelli's Mac and Cheese sauce recipe.

Mushroom and Baby Spinach Filling:

2 portabello mushrooms, or about 150g (I've also used 200g regular white mushrooms)
50g baby spinach, stems removed (OR 150g frozen spinach, cooked)
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a wok then add the sliced mushrooms and a sprinkling of salt. Fry on high heat until they start to shrink and look cooked. Place the baby spinach on top, place a lid on and let it steam for a couple minutes. Stir well - the spinach should be wilted now and the mushrooms cooked with no liquid left.


Place a lasagna sheet on a large plate and top with half the lentil tomato sauce

Now place half of the spinach and mushroom mixture over top

Then spoon over half of the Nutritional Yeast sauce

Finally, top with another sheet of lasagna, drizzle with an extra drizzle of olive oil and some finely chopped fresh basil. Repeat with the other sheets and serve! If they happen to get a bit cold while doing all this they can be heated up in the microwave for 20 - 30 seconds without anything bad happening to the pasta.

Nutritional Information: per serving

Calories: 385
Fat: 8.1g
Sat Fat: 1.5g
Protein: 16.1g
Carbs: 49.7g
Sugar: 12.2g
Fibre: 6.3g
Sodium: 1020mg
Calcium: 139mg

You Might Also Like:

Artichoke heart, Mushroom and Pine Nut filled RavioliVegan Garlic Bread


  1. i love this. ill have to try it out soon. it looks delish!!

  2. I am so happy you've been blogging/tweeting again but sad that I've only just noticed!!

    This looks amazing, I wish I had a plate of it in front of me right now!!

  3. Thanks Miss Alyssa and Mandee - I'll have to fully check out your blog too, I have so much catching up to do!! Nice to be back though :-)

  4. This looks so yummy!! I haven't had lasagna in years and love that this one has so many wholesome ingredients.


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