Saturday, 11 February 2012
Red Pepper and Fennel Lasagne recipe!
This is my favourite meal to make at the moment, I don't know if it's the weather being cold but I cannot get enough pasta, tomatoes and creamy cashew sauce at the moment! I guess it did get down to -14c last night in Norfolk! So here is the recipe, pop a film on, wrap up warm and eat a hearty plateful of deliciousness!
Red Pepper and Fennel Tomato sauce:
1 Tin of chopped tomatoes
2 Red peppers chopped into cubes
1 Green peppers chopped into cubes
1 Red onion chopped into cubes
1 Fennel bulb chopped into cubes
2 Sticks of celery chopped into cubes
2 Cloves of garlic chopped fine
Half a bag of spinach washed
1 tsp of brown sugar
1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp of bouillon
Pinch of thyme or mixed herbs
2 tbsp of tomato purée
Salt and pepper to taste
Glug of olive oil
Vegan organic pasta sheets
Cashew Nut Bechamel Sauce:
1 pack of Mori Nu silken tofu
1 cup of cashew nuts
1/2 cup of Nutritional yeast flakes
3 Sundried tomatoes and
1 tbsp of their tomato infused oil
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1/4 cup of water (may need a bit more if the mixture is too thick)
1/2 tsp of Mustard
Salt to taste
Boil a kettle and pop the pasta sheets into a bowl. Pour the boiled water over the sheets to help them soften up, you don't have to do this but I think it helps speed up the cooking time and makes it easier to assemble. When they are softened (5 mins) gently peel them away from each other and pop on a plate. Next in a pan heat the oil and add the onion, garlic, peppers, fennel, spinach and celery to the pan. You can use any other veggies in this dish and it is a great way to use up an left over veggies that have been hanging out in the fridge! Carrots, aubergine, sprouting broccoli, courgette would all be great in this! Once they have sweated down a bit add the tin of tomatoes, sugar, bouillon stock, balsamic, herbs, tomato purée and salt and pepper. Give it a taste, taste everything, is it seasoned enough? Has the sugar taken away the acid from the tomatoes? If not add a touch more! Can you taste the herbs? When you are happy, turn the heat down to gently simmer until the veg is just cooked through. Now for the cashew bechamel. Well I lie, a bechamel is usually a roux that soya milk is added too, this is much simpler and guaranteed not to split! In the food processor add the tofu, cashews, yeast flakes, sundried tomatoes, oil, lemon juice and water. Whizz for a minute or two until there are no lumps of cashew nut left. It should be a thick creamy sauce but if you feel it is too thick, add a touch more water. Add a pinch of salt, whizz again and then taste, add more salt if needed.
Now to assemble the lasagne! I always go tomato sauce, pasta, cashew nut sauce, tomato sauce, pasta, cashew nut sauce. I find this best as you are left with a creamy topping that goes gratinated and the pasta goes slightly crispy at the edges and I LOVE that! Then pop it in the oven at 190c to 200c for 25 mins then check. If it's not brown enough pop in for another 5mins. Serve a bit plateful straight away!!!!!!!!