Len­til ragu and egg­plant lasagne

New Zealand Fitness - - FIT FOOD -

If you love lasagne and you love egg­plant parmi­giana, you’ll love this hearty veg­e­tar­ian meal that’s a mix of the two. Slices of baked egg­plant are used as the lay­ers in be­tween a rich tomato and len­til sauce, topped with melted moz­zarella.

Serves: six

Prep time: 15 min­utes Cook time: 80 min­utes Len­til ragu Olive oil 1 ta­ble­spoon Onion 1, diced Car­rot 1 medium-sized, peeled, diced Cel­ery 1 stalk, diced Gar­lic 2 cloves, chopped Thyme leaves 2 tea­spoons chopped Bay leaf 1 Puy or French green lentils 1 cup Tomato paste 1 ta­ble­spoon Crushed toma­toes 3 x 400g cans Veg­etable or chicken stock 1 ½ cups Spinach leaves 3 cups, roughly chopped Salt Freshly ground black pep­per

To as­sem­ble

Egg­plants 2 large or 3 medium-sized,

sliced into 1cm-thick rounds Olive oil 2 ta­ble­spoons Len­til ragu 3 cups (see above) Moz­zarella 1½ cups grated Parme­san ¼ cup grated

To serve

Leafy green salad

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, car­rot, cel­ery and gar­lic for six to seven min­utes un­til soft. Add all re­main­ing ragu in­gre­di­ents, ex­cept spinach leaves and bring to a boil. Re­duce heat and gen­tly sim­mer, stir­ring of­ten, un­til lentils are ten­der but still hold their shape and liq­uid has al­most com­pletely evap­o­rated, 35–40 min­utes. Add spinach leaves with five min­utes of cook­ing time to go and stir through un­til wilted. Sea­son to taste with salt and pep­per. The fin­ished ragu should be very thick. While the ragu is cook­ing, pre­pare the egg­plant. Pre­heat oven to 200ºC. Line two large oven trays with bak­ing pa­per. Ar­range sliced egg­plant on pre­pared oven trays, brush with olive oil and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Bake for 20 min­utes or un­til soft and lightly browned. To as­sem­ble lasagne, ar­range half of the egg­plant slices, slightly over­lap­ping, in a sin­gle layer on the bot­tom of a large bak­ing or casse­role dish. Spread over 1 ½ cups len­til ragu to cover the egg­plant. Sprin­kle over half of the moz­zarella. Cover with another layer of re­main­ing egg­plant and re­main­ing ragu. Sprin­kle over re­main­ing moz­zarella and then parme­san. Bake for about 20 min­utes un­til cheese is melted and golden. Al­low to stand for 10 min­utes be­fore cut­ting and serv­ing. Serve with a big leafy green salad on the side.

TIP: This recipe can be frozen whole or in in­di­vid­ual por­tions for a quick ‘heat and eat’ lunch or din­ner.

Wheat free Gluten free Veg­e­tar­ian Freezes well

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