Is there anything in the world better than lasagne? It’s rich, it’s creamy, it’s pasta… you can’t go wrong. If you think you’re bored of veggie lasagne, think again. This isn’t the standard vegetable + tomato sauce lasagne that is so often served up as the only vegetarian dish on a menu. This puy lentil lasagne is something special!
Imagine your standard white sauce… now imagine it with soft goat’s cheese melted through. Now imagine that creamy goat’s cheese sauce slathered on top of a rich, autumnal mixture of puy lentils, mushrooms and thyme… it’s enough to make you swoon!
As an added bonus, this lasagne is also pretty straightforward to make, as far as lasagnes go – especially if you use those trusty sachets of cooked puy lentils like I did (I’m obsessed with those things).
The lentil and mushroom mixture only takes a few minutes to make. As soon as your mushrooms, onion and garlic are cooked off, you’re basically there. The goat’s cheese sauce takes just a few minutes as well, and can be made alongside the lentils… basically, this is one speedy lasagne.
Not to blow my own trumpet or anything, but that is what I call some good layering.
To make this lasagne extra (extra extra) special, top it with a bit of mozzarella. None of this pre-shredded yellow stuff, I’m talking proper, fresh mozzarella that comes in a ball and can be torn into amazing, flaky chunks. Just throw it on top, and you’ll end up with a beautifully crispy layer that’s so satisfying to break through with a knife.
I love the way the sauce bubbles up in between the dots of crispy cheese… ugh, can you tell I want to be eating this again right now?
I have a feeling there will be several more lasagnes making appearances in my life this winter. They’re the perfect winter warmer (especially with a slice or two of garlic bread!). Any favourite flavours you can recommend?
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 medium mushrooms, diced
- Black pepper
- 250 g cooked puy lentils (~ 1 2/3 cups)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 30 g butter (~ 2 tbsp)
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 350 ml milk (~ 1 1/2 cups)
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 100 g soft goat’s cheese, diced (~ 3/4 cup when diced)
- ~6 sheets of no-boil lasagne
- 75 g fresh mozzarella, torn into chunks (~ 1/2 a small ball)
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and add the onion, garlic and mushrooms, along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over a medium heat for around 8 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft. Add the cooked lentils and dried thyme, and mix to combine.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat, and add the flour. Mix well to form a roux, and cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Next add the milk a little at a time, stirring until smooth each time before adding more. When you’ve added all of the milk and the sauce is smooth, add a pinch of nutmeg, a good pinch of salt and pepper, and the diced goat’s cheese. Turn the heat up a touch, and cook for a few more minutes, stirring regularly, until the cheese has melted. If your goat’s cheese had a rind, the sauce will probably not be entirely smooth, but that’s okay.
When the cheese has melted into the sauce, it’s time to assemble the lasagne in a baking dish (mine measured around 8 x 6 inches). At this point, begin to heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
The exact order you layer things up doesn’t matter, but this is the order I used: 1tbsp sauce (spread around, to prevent the lasagne from sticking); a layer of lasagne sheets; 1/3 of the lentil mixture; 1/4 of the remaining sauce; a layer of lasagne sheets; another 1/3 of the lentil mixture; another 1/4 of the sauce; a layer of lasagne sheets; the remaining 1/3 of the lentil mixture; another 1/4 of the sauce; a layer of lasagne sheets; the remaining 1/4 of the sauce.
Once you’ve assembled your lasagne and used up all of your ingredients, top it with the fresh mozzarella and a little more black pepper if desired. Place the dish in the oven, and bake for around 40 minutes, or until the pasta is fully cooked, and the cheese on top is golden brown. If you notice that the cheese is browning too quickly, just cover the dish with foil and return it to the oven.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.