Growing up, traditional family meals were never an option as my mum and sister are both dairy-intolerant. It meant pizza had to be cheese-less and lasagne was only minced meat in a tomato sauce. When years later I started experimenting in the kitchen, making a creamy pasta without all the dairy that I could enjoy with my family was high on the list. I feel like I’ve satisfied every childhood craving with this recipe. The amazing dairy-free béchamel is made with spice-infused almond milk and I add slices of roasted aubergine and sweet sun-dried tomatoes for umami. This is a recipe you can’t get bored of!
How to prepare aubergine for lasagne?
For me, lasagne is all about the layers so when I’m adding a vegetable like aubergine I like to slice it into thin strips so that they almost mimic the layers of lasagne sheets.
How to cook aubergine in lasagne?
I always make sure to pre-cook the aubergine before layering it in. This is an aubergine lasagne after all – so they’ve got to be good! After I’ve sliced them (see details on that above) I drizzle them with oil and roast them in a hot oven for about 25 minutes or until they’re softening and caramelising but not totally collapsing
How to make aubergine lasagne?
All lasagne pretty much come in 3 parts: a tomato sauce, a white/creamy sauce, and pasta sheets.
From here, you can jazz things up by adding things like roasted vegetables or even pesto in between the layers. Traditionally, it’s made with a meat-based tomato sauce and a dairy white sauce but to make this aubergine lasagne vegan I’ve replaced the meat from the tomato sauce with mushrooms, courgettes and pepper and used almond milk to make the white sauce. Perhaps not typically Italian, but still completely delicious!
1 punnet mushrooms, sliced
1 red onion, chopped
2 courgettes, chopped
2 large Aubergine
A dozen cherry tomatoes
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cups spinach
1 cup sundried tomatoes
DAIRY FREE BÉCHAMEL:
1 red onion, peeled and roughly sliced
500ml Ecomil Sugar Free Almond Milk
1½ tsp vegetable bouillon powder
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cut the aubergine, lengthways, into thin slivers. Drizzle some olive on top and put in the oven to roast for around 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a wok heat the coconut oil and sauté the onions, courgette, cherry tomatoes and red pepper. After a few minutes add the mushrooms and continue to cook. Once al dente, take the veggies off the heat and pour in the tin of chopped tomatoes, add the spinach and leave to one side.
Now put the onion slices in a saucepan.Pour in the almond milk and the water. Then add the bouillon powder, cloves and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to the boil, then remove from the heat and set aside for 20 minutes to allow the milk to infuse.
Remove the clove and bay leaves and place the pan back on the heat. Bring to the boil and add in the brown rice flour, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens to a smooth sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Now it’s time to assemble the lasagne. In a large dish start by adding half the vegetable mixture, top with an even layer of 4-5 lasagne sheets making sure all the veggies are covered trying not to overlap the sheets. Add the other half of the vegetables and the roasted aubergine slices, another layer of lasagne sheets and top with an even spread of white sauce.
Scatter the sun-dried tomatoes on top (whole or chopped) and place in the oven to cook for 50-60 minutes, or until starting to brown and crisp at the top.
Enjoy with a big green salad!
This post was made in collaboration with Ecomil.