I discovered two things while making this lasagne.
1. Lasagne is really hard to take an appetising photo of. I got there in the end 🙂
2. You can make dairy-free gluten-free, vegan lasagne taste deliciously close to the real thing.
Recreating a healthier vegetarian version of Italian dishes is one of my favourite things to do. Basically so I can eat them all the time. I’ve had a few wins and a couple of disaster pasta but this walnut lasagne is one of my best experiments. The ground walnuts cook down in a delicious savoury tomato sauce amplified by the sundried tomatoes and dried herbs. The texture is very similar to beef mice so perfect for any veggie sceptic or transitioning vegetarian. Walnuts are also packed with omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fibre and are great for boosting brain health. The fats in walnuts will also help your body absorb and convert the antioxidant found in the tomatoes.
The cauliflower bechamel is another hit for me. I’ve tried making a vegan cheesy pasta sauce with a multitude of different veggies but cauliflower seems to work the best. It has a mildly sweet flavour and when blended with cashews creates a velvety creamy sauce. Perfect for pasta.
I’m gluten-free as you all know so I decided to use thinly sliced celeriac as my pasta sheets but you could use pasta if you like or thinly sliced potato or pumpkin. The celeriac does hold its shape well so the layers stay separate like a classic lasagne.
This is a great dish to make over the weekend for loved ones and the leftovers (if there is any) taste even better the next day.
serves 4 – 6
2 cups of walnuts, ground
2 tins of tomatoes
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, Chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
2 Tablespoons of dried Herbs
1/2 a head of cauliflower
3/4 cup of soaked cashews
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon of white miso
3 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper
Thinly sliced vegetables like celeriac, potato or pumpkin.
Preheat your oven to 160c.
In a large Saucepan gently fry your onions and garlic until they start to soften. Add dried herbs and ground walnuts and cook for another 3 minutes to slightly brown the nuts. Add your canned & dried tomatoes, stir to combine. Allow to cook and reduce for 10 – 15 minutes.
To make your cauliflower bechamel. Roughly chop the cauliflower and steam until completely soft. Add a food processor with remaining ingredients and blend into a smooth sauce. Add a dash of water if it’s too thick.
To make your lasagne lay your sliced veggies on the bottom of your baking dish in a single layer, then add a layer of bolognese, then a layer of bechamel. Repeat the layering until you’ve used all the ingredients. Bake in the oven for 3o – 40 minutes until the veggies are cooked through and the top is golden.