This is a big departure from a traditional lasagne but you’ll find it incredibly delicious. My favourite elements of the classic are honoured with a rich ragu and layers of creamy sauce. Sweet potato slices replace traditional pasta and makes the whole dish feel a little lighter. I like to soak the lentils for 12 hours before cooking to aid digestion.
olive oil or coconut oil for sautéing and brushing top layer of sweet potato
½ brown onion, finely diced
1 large clove garlic, finely diced
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
1½ cups vegetable stock
3 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper
Lentil and Mushroom Ragu
1 cup French green lentils
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 large garlic cloves, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
250 grams portobello mushrooms, diced
3 cups vegetable stock (if using a strongly flavoured store-bought stock, can use 2 cups stock and 1 cup water)
1½ cups tomato passata
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
2 medium orange sweet potatoes, very thinly sliced on a mandoline
3 tablespoons almond meal
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
The night before: Place the lentils in a large bowl of cold water and leave to soak for 12–24 hours. Drain and rinse very well. (If you decide not to soak the lentils add an additional ¾ cup of stock when cooking).
Heat a generous dollop of oil in a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and carrot for the lentils. Cook gently until the onion is translucent. Add the lentils, mushrooms, stock, passata, bay leaf, cumin and thyme. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Cook with a lid slightly ajar for 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Season to taste.
Heat a generous dollop of oil in another sauté pan (preferably one with a lid as you need to steam the cauli) over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook gently until the onion is tender and translucent. Add the cauliflower and stock. Place a lid on and cook for 15 minutes until very soft. Turn heat down if it starts to bubble over. Place the cauliflower and stock into a blender (or use a stick blender) and add the olive oil and a generous seasoning of sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Preheat oven to 180˚C.
Grease an ovenproof lasagne dish. Lay a layer of sweet potato slices (tiled tightly) on the bottom. Top with half of the lentils. Gently spread half of the cauliflower sauce on top. Cover with another layer of tiled sweet potato slices. Repeat the final layer of lentils followed by cauliflower sauce. Top with the final layer of sweet potato. Brush the slices with oil. Combine the almond meal, sesame seeds, sunflowers seeds and pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle this over the lasagne and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Bake for 45–50 minutes until the sweet potato is golden and crispy.
Serve with steamed green vegetables or a crispy salad.
Leftover will last up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Cook's tip: If you don’t have a mandoline to do the very fine slices then it is best to cut as thin as possible with a knife and bake for 20 minutes at 180˚C after brushing with oil. Then continue with the recipe as listed.