I’m still so grateful my mum showed me all those years ago how simple it was to make a lasagne. Back in my student days it was made with my favourite choice of vegetables and a tub of tomato and mascarpone pasta sauce off the shelf, but now I seem to have perfected what is a big hit with my meat-loving hubby and non-veggie-eating toddler. And it’s vegetarian, so probably one of the few meals we can all eat happily without having to prepare 3 different versions. (Seriously, this happens. Often)
Here I give you my family’s favourite version of my easy, homemade and super tasty vegetarian lasagne, made with Quorn mince. Note that the emmentel cheese on top was discovered by accident, but totally works as it goes crispy but not greasy like cheddar or stringy like mozzarella!
Quorn Mince Lasagne
Fresh lasagne pasta sheets
500g Quorn Mince
1 chopped red onion
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 heaped teaspoon of chopped garlic
190g red pesto
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
300g creme fraiche (half fat)
150g Grated parmesan or grana panado
6 slices of emmentel cheese
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Heap a drop of oil in a high-sided saucepan and gently cook the chopped red onion until soft, adding the chopped garlic to cook for around 30 seconds, not letting it burn.
3. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, herbs and red pesto – and season with salt & pepper. I then use a hand blender to get a smooth sauce, but you could leave it with a chunkier texture.
4. Add the Quorn mince to the sauce and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
5. While the mince simmers, gently heat the creme fraiche in a small saucepan, stirring in 50g of the parmesan so it becomes a smooth, thicker mixture, then take off the heat.
6. Once the mince is ready, spoon half into an oven dish, spreading it out evenly, then lay 2 sheets of lasagne on top (this will depend on the shape and size of your dish, and tear/cut the sheets to ensure the pasta covers all of the mince).
7. Then repeat with the remaining mince, spread it out on top of the pasta sheets then add more sheets on top of that layer of mince.
8. Then do the same with half of the parmesan creme fraiche, layer with pasta then spread the remaining creme fraiche on top.
9. Finally, place the slices of emmentel on top, and then sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on top of the emmentel, and add dried herbs too if you wish.
10. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes – the cheese on top should turn golden and crispy.