The combination of puy lentils and eggplant works brilliantly in this delicious herby lasagna.
Sauté 1/2 of the onion and one clove of crushed garlic in olive oil until softened. Add puy lentils, sauté for another minute then add 2 cups 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 the hard core of tomatoes and place whole on a baking tray, along with 3 garlic cloves. Roast on high heat until well roasted and starting to blacken. Blitz with a hand blender. Set aside.
Remove ends and slice eggplant lengthways, approx. 1/2-inch thickness. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast on high heat until golden brown and soft. Set aside.
Sauté remaining onion, carrot, red pepper, and celery, then add cooked lentils, soy, one bay leaf, a handful of fresh oregano, and a sprig of thyme. Add blended tomato sauce (or canned 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 a small pan, add a pinch of salt and plain flour and cook to make a 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 of the sauce in the bottom of a large deep baking dish and cover with pasta. Then layer over lentil and tomato mix, followed by a layer of roasted eggplant, allowing the eggplant to overlap to create a nice thick layer. Add another layer of lentil mix and then top with another layer of pasta, and on top of pasta pour creamy sauce. Sprinkle top with cheese, salt, and pepper.
Bake in a medium-hot oven at 375 F for 30-40 mins until bubbling and the top is golden brown. Serve with a fresh green salad.
Check out Jackie’s website, The Hungry Gecko for more tantalizing vegan street food recipe ideas!