When I think of Italian cuisine, I think of gathering with my parents and
brother, sharing big family-style dishes over lots of laughs and chianti. The warmth, heartiness and carbs of Italian food fills your belly and the tradition of sharing dinner
together fills your heart. We are spread out across the country, so we don’t get to have dinner together that often, but when we do, we make it count.
Podcast of Episode #6 – Italy
2 tbs Olive Oil, for frying1 Red Onion, finely sliced3 cloves Garlic, minced4 sticks Celery, finely sliced1 medium Aubergine, cubed1 Courgette, cubed4 cups/650g Vegan Mince (alternatively, used mushrooms or lentils)2 tins Chopped Tomatoes3 tbs Tomato Puree1 heaped tbs Mixed Herb2 tbs Balsamic Vinegar2 tsp Sea Salt2 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
1/2 cup Vegan Butter1/2 cup Flour
4 cups Soy Milk/Oat Milk1 Onion, peeled & cut into 81 BayPinch Nutmeg1 tsp Sea Salt1 tsp Black Pepper Corns
1 Pack Dried Lasagna Sheets
First up you need to infuse the milk for the béchamel, in a medium saucepan add the soy/oat milk followed by the onion, bay, nutmeg & seasonings. Place the saucepan over a low heat & stir every now and then.
For the ragu, in a large saucepan placed over medium heat, add the oil followed by the onion, garlic, celery & a pinch of salt. Sweat the mixdown for around 3-4 minutes.
Add the courgette, aubergine & mixed herbs. Turn the heat down lower, pop a lid on & allow the mix to cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the vegan mix & stir well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar & chopped tomatoes.
Stir in the tomato puree, then pop the lid on and let the mix cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes.
For the béchamel, in a saucepan add the vegan margarine and place the pan over a low heat.
When the margarine is melted, add the flour. Using a spatula mix well. Cook the mix whilst stirring for a couple of minutes to cook out the flour. It should resemble a paste like consistency.
Gradually whisk in the infused milk, a little at a time.
Once you’d added all the milk, the béchamel should be creamy, if you want to make it cheesy, add vegan cheese & nutritional yeast.
Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees C.
Build your Lasagne in your oven proof baking dish, a layer at a time, I like to do – ragu, béchamel then pasta sheets. Repeat this until you have filled your dish. Making sure the top layer is béchamel.