August 31, 2012

Friday Bites: Mushroom Lasagne

Here's a rare treat for you - a pasta recipe! You might remember that I'm really not the biggest fan of pasta and tend to only cook it for my husband who is not as fussy as I am. Although tasty, I must admit that even this dish was mainly demolished by him and not me. Regardless, I wanted to try making a dairy-free (and vegan) lasagne and this turned out surprisingly well.
The trick is to use a lot of mushrooms for a hearty result. You could even use more than I did, up to, say 700 grams. Add flavour with capers, olives, sundried tomatoes and (dried or fresh) herbs and use wholemeal lasagne sheets for a nuttier flavour.
Mushroom Lasagne
(serves 4-6)

olive oil for the pan
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, grated 
3 small carrots, finely diced
500g mixed mushrooms (button, shiitake, portobello), sliced
2 tins diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons French capers
olives, sundried tomatoes, optional
salt, pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
grated nutmeg
fresh or dried herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano), optional
300-500ml vegetable stock
300g silken firm tofu
pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons plain flour
100-150ml cold water
wholemeal lasagne sheets

1. Heat oil in a large pan and add onion, garlic and carrots. Cook for a few minutes, then add mushrooms. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes and add rest of the ingredients. Leave to simmer on low heat for about half an hour.

2. Bring vegetable stock to a boil in a medium sized pot. Use a hand blender to blend in the tofu. Season with pepper. Whisk flour with cold water and stir into the stock. Stir until the sauce thickens, then remove from the heat.

3. Preheat oven to 200C and grease a baking dish with olive oil.

4. To assemble the lasagne, spoon some of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of lasagne sheets, then some of the white sauce, tomato sauce and more lasagne sheets. Continue for a few layers. Finish off with a layer of white sauce and tomato sauce. Bake for 40-45 minutes and leave to cool for at least half an hour before serving.