Lasagne is a household favourite. It’s filling, comforting and is the essence of traditional home cooking for the family. I’ve given this Italian classic a vegetarian twist by swapping out the meat for a delicious green lentil ragu and exchanging bèchamel Sauce (my béchamel sauce recipe card here) for a light, creamy homemade ricotta with basil. This recipe is hearty and healthy! If you need an alternative vegetarian take on this classic recipe keep reading to try out my Vegetarian Lasagne with Lentil Ragu and Homemade Basil Ricotta.
Ingredient to Cook the Lentils
200g x Dried Green Lentils
1 x Vegetable Stock Cube
1 litre x Water
2 x Cloves of Garlic
1 x Sprig of Rosemary
1 x Small Onion
Ingredients for the Ragu
500g x Tomato Passata
800ml x Water
1 x Celery
2 x Clove of Garlic
1 x Onion
1 Tbsp x Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Black pepper
Ingredients for the Ricotta
800ml x Whole Milk
1 x Lemon
1 x Bunch of Basil
Pinch of Sea Salt
Ingredients to Assemble
10 x Lasagne Sheets
60g x Grated Cheddar
You can use tinned pre-cooked lentils to make this recipe. If you are using tinned skip points 1 and 2.
- 1. Start by bringing 1 litre of water to the boil in a saucepan. Once boiling turn it down to a simmer and add in one vegetable stock cube, a large pinch of salt, two whole cloves of garlic, 1 small onion halved and one sprig of rosemary.
- 2. Next, add the dried lentils to the pan and cook until they are tender. This will usually take around 20 minutes. Once cooked, drain the lentils and remove garlic, onion, rosemary and discard. Leave cooked lentils to one side.
- 3. To make the ragu start by dicing the onion, carrot, celery and garlic.
- 4. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and add in 1 Tbsp of olive oil followed by the diced onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Add a pinch of salt and cook for around 5 minutes.
- 5. Next add to the pan the tomato passata, water and cooked lentils. Season with salt and pepper, place a lid on the pan and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes stirring every so often. If it begins to look a little dry just add a splash of water. After 30 minutes check the seasoning and remove from the heat.
- 6. To make the ricotta start by bringing 800ml of whole milk to the boil in a saucepan and immediately turn down the heat.
- 7. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the milk and stir. You will notice the curds begin to separate from the whey almost immediately. Continue stirring over a low heat for 5 minutes.
- 8. Remove from the heat and pass through some muslin cloth catching the whey in a bowl or jug. Place the curds into a mixing bowl and set the whey to one side.
- 9. Remove basil leaves from the stalks and chop the leaves. Mix them into your ricotta with a pinch of sea salt. This is your basil ricotta complete. You can adjust the consistency of the ricotta to your liking by adding a splash of the whey to loosen it up. I usually add around a dessert spoon or so.
- 10. I used a 20cm x 15cm pyrex baking tray to make my lasagne. To assemble start with a layer of lentils ragu followed by a few small dollops of ricotta and then the pasta sheets. repeat this until you use up all the ingredients. For the top layer sprinkle with the greater cheddar cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 35 – 45 minutes or until golden on top.