The combination of puy lentils and aubergines work brilliantly in this delicious herby lasagne.
Saute 1/2 of the onion and one clove of crushed garlic in olive oil until softened. Add puy lentils, sauté for further minute then add 1 1/2 to 2 pints of stock and simmer until lentils are fully cooked and soft. Add further stock as needed. You are aiming for them to absorb most of the liquid without leaving too much broth.
Remove hard core of tomatoes and place whole on baking tray, along with 3 garlic cloves. Roast on high heat until well roasted and starting to blacken. Blitz with handblender. Set aside.
Remove ends and slice aubergines lengthways, approx 1.5cm thickness. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast on high heat until golden brown and soft. Set aside.
Saute remaining onion, carrot, red pepper and celery, then add cooked lentils, soy, one bay leaf and handful of fresh marjoram and sprig of thyme. Add blended tomato sauce (or tinned tomatoes and garlic if using) and the tomato puree. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper, then taste to check seasoning and adjust according to taste.
Heat butter in small pan, add pinch of salt and plain flour and cook to make roux, gently cooking the paste for 2-3 minutes. Then slowly add milk, whisking all the time until reach a creamy consistent sauce. Add a bay leaf, and simmer for 2 minutes.
Layer some bechamel sauce in bottom of large deep baking dish and cover with pasta. Then layer over lentil and tomato mix, followed by layer of roasted aubergine, allowing the aubergine to overlap to create nice thick layer. Add another layer of lentil mix and then top with another layer of pasta, and on top of pasta pour creamy béchamel sauce. Sprinkle top with cheese and salt and pepper.
Bake in medium hot oven at 190 C for 30-40 mins until bubbling and top is golden brown. Serve with a fresh green salad.
Check out Jackie’s website, The Hungry Gecko for more tantalising vegan street food recipe ideas!