Soya Mince Vegetarian Lasagna
Soya Mince Vegetarian Lasagna
Here I have made the Lasagne, an Italian dish, in exactly the same way as the one with mince meat, but substituted mince with Soya mince, available at most Indian and other grocers. As with meat version, you can use ready-made Ragu Meat sauce and Béchamel white sauce, but fresh is easy to make and tasty. As per my usual practice, I have pasta sheets without pre-boiling. You can make your own pasta if you wish, but I don’t. I always make the Béchamel sauce the easy way, all in one method!
For the Soya sauce:
2 tea cups Soya mince granules, soaked in warm water
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 red pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 celery stick or a couple of leeks, finely chopped
1/4 cup red wine
400 gm. tin chopped tomatoes*
2 tbsp. tomato purée*
2 tbsp. vegetarian gravy granules/powder (optional). This gives the sauce a more 'meaty' flavour
1 tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, a good sprinkle of
A handful of chopped basil leaves.
*I sometimes use ready-made passata tomato paste instead of these two.
For Béchamel or white sauce
40 gm. or 3 tbsp. plain, white flour (maida), dissolved in a little milk or water.
500 ml. or 1/2 litre milk (I use skimmed milk)
A good pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. mustard powder, like Coleman’s
A good sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg
For assembling the lasagne
A 3 inch deep, lasagne dish (a square, oven proof dish)
1 packet of Pasta sheets, 200 gm.
100 gm. 50/50 mix of Parmesan and mature cheddar cheese
A handful of jalapeño peppers or use chillies in vinegar
soak Soya granules in hot water for 30 minutes or longer. Then wash under running water. This removes any smell that people complain of in Soya mince. Leave it to drain.
Making Soya Mince Sauce
Heat oil in a pan and sweat onions, garlic, celery or leeks until soft.
Add red peppers and stir in.
Add drained Soya mince and brown it on high for a few minutes.
Add tomato purée, salt, pepper, bring to boil.
Add wine and cook until Soya mince is looking dry again.
Add vegetarian gravy granules dissolved in 1/2 cup of hot water
Add black pepper and salt to taste.
Now cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes or so.
Add chopped basil leaves. Taste and adjust seasoning. Keep it aside.
Making Béchamel Sauce
Mix all sauce ingredients except flour in cold milk, bring it to boil. Add nutmeg, black pepper and mustard powder, stirring continuously to avoid lump formation). Simmer for a few minutes, until it has a custard like consistency. If too thin, dissolve a little more flour in milk/water, add to sauce and boil. It should be custard like consistency. Keep aside.
Assembling and Cooking Lasagna
Switch oven on to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4
Grease an oven proof, square dish.
Spread 1/2 of the Soya mince sauce on it’s base.
Spread a layer of lasagne sheets on top.
Now ladle 1/2 the Béchamel/white sauce. Scatter a few pickled chillies.
Now repeat this; spread rest of the Soya mince sauce, then layer of pasta sheets to cover the mince, then cover with remaining Béchamel sauce on top and then a few pickled chillies.
Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
Bake in the centre of a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or a little longer, until it looks golden and the top bubbles.
Serve hot with a mixed salad and garlic bread