This lasagna–like most lasagnas–takes a bit of prep (sauteeing veggies, blending things, boiling noodles, chopping a variety of ingredients, etc. etc.) but, when you have a big dinner to host –and yes, even your nightly family dinner counts as big when this lasagna is involved–the extra bit of effort is totally worth it. I really enjoy spacing my lasagna making out throughout the day: lentils in the early morning, sauce later in the day and finally assembling about an hour before dinner is served.
My son has been requesting lasagna each night for about a month now, and I’ve finally gotten around to making it for him *insert guilty feelings here*. He’s a big fan of noodley, saucy, and/or cheesy meals (pierogies, mac and cheese, ravioli to name a few), so naturally, lasagna is one of his favorite dishes of all. He should be quite pleased about dinner tonight, even if I did happen to sneak a few extra veggies in there for good measure.
A few tips:
When making lasagna, I cook the pasta just until tender, and since I use gluten-free noodles, this ends up being somewhere around 3 to 4 minutes shy of the recommended cooking time. They tend to fall apart less and I find that the pasta is much easier to work with.
I highly recommend broiling the lasagna for five minutes at the end of cooking. It gets the cheese all nice and gooey and the kale turns into teeny tiny crispy kale chips that adds a nice touch to the ensemble.
This dish can also be prepared ahead of time, frozen and then baked in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours at 350 °F if you’re into prepping ahead–which is a wonderful idea that I can never seem to make a reality. For those of you who do, I envy your time management skills.
for the sauce:
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 28 ounces canned whole tomatoes + juice
- 1/2 cup roasted red pepper (jarred works great)
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons agave
- 1/2 teaspoon additional sea salt
- 1 tablespoon additional olive oil
for the lentils:
- 2 1/2 cups cooked (black) beluga lentils
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground chia
- 2 tablespoons water
and the other ingredients:
- 1 box gluten-free (or regular if you can do wheat!) lasagna noodles
- 2 cups chopped kale (stems removed–save them for smoothies!), sauteed lightly just until bright green and wilted
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 2 to 3 cups vegan mozzerella (recommend Daiya!)