I wanted to make a pasta-free lasagne – so I decided to create a sweet potato one. It melted in our mouths, and it was one of the most mouthwatering baked dishes ever. An epic dish to serve to friends and family. It’s so decorative, and combines the idea of roast potatoes with a wonderful sauce, red Bolognese and a cheese sauce that really is very cheezy ! Serve with garlic bread and a crunchy green salad (actually my strawberry salad has lots of green, and really has all the edge you need to take this dish to another level).
INGREDIENTS FOR BOLOGNESE SAUCE
2 Tbsp (30 ML) olive oil
3 spring onions (scallions), chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 400g tin tomato pulp
2½ cups vegan mince meat (I used Linda McCartney’s) (see below for gluten free mince)
6 to 8 sun dried tomato halves, chopped
¼ red pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
salt to taste
a drizzle of olive oil
NOTE : For gluten-free mince, use 1 cup of pre-soaked Puy lentils. Then boil them in water, drain when ready, and set aside. Then add just under 1 cup of broken down pecan nuts – roast the nuts in the oven, and then set aside. Use these together instead of your vegan mince.
METHOD FOR BOLOGNESE
- Heat up the oil in your frying pan (I used a cast iron skillet), and fry your spring onions until slightly golden.
- Next, stir in your garlic, and mix until it is slightly golden.
- Then add your red pepper and tomato puree, and mix for a couple of minutes.
- Now add your vegan mince, and mix again. Then add the remaining ingredients, and simmer gently for 20 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Taste for salt, and set aside.
INGREDIENTS FOR CHEESE SAUCE
2 cups soya milk, or other non-sweetened milk (I used Alpro)
2Tbsp purpose plain flour (for a thicker sauce, use 3 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp fine garlic granules
salt (don’t omit)
a knob of vegan butter
¼ tsp turmeric powder
a little water if needed
NOTE : For gluten-free or soya-free cheese sauce, use nut milk instead of soya milk, and gluten-free flour instead of wheat flour.
METHOD FOR CHEESE SAUCE
- Place all the ingredients in a ‘milk’ pan and whisk.
- Heat the mixture up, mixing virtually non-stop, until you have a thickish consistency. Lower the heat, and continue cooking for a further minute or so.
INGREDIENTS FOR VEGETABLE LAYERS
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, very thinly sliced
2 courgettes (zucchini), very thinly sliced, skillet fried
olive oil for drizzling
METHOD FOR ASSEMBLING
- Make the Bolognese and cheese sauces as above.
- Thinly slice your sweet potatoes, and courgettes. I used a new device I purchased called a ‘Handy’, which lived up to its name !
- Preheat your oven to 375ºF (190ºC), and grease a suitable ovenproof dish (mine was circular, around 10” in diameter, and 3” deep).
- Fry the zucchini on both sides in a griddle, and set aside.
- Start off by covering the base and sides of the oven dish with sweet potatoes – you’ll probably be shocked to see how many slices one potato yields.
- Next, add ¼ of your cheese sauce to the base, followed by another layer of potatoes, and the same amount again of Bolognese sauce.
- Add in your zucchini with the next layer of potatoes, and continue to add sauce, potato, sauce, etc. until you are left with no sauce, and enough potatoes to make the top layer.
- Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes, and add salt, fennel seeds, and smoked paprika on top.
- Place in your preheated oven for an hour or so, or until the potatoes crunch up and turn golden. Bon Appétit.
All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell www.mouthwateringvegan.com 2010
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