The first of September has come and gone, autumn has, at last, arrived. I know I'm not the only one who thrives during the autumn/winter months, ( leave a little comment if you're feeling me!) cosy jumpers, chunky boots, pumpkin spice, days spent baking treats and cuddling up for a movie night... I live for it. Sure summer is great but with my pale skin and mosquito attraction I can get a little frustrated.
I didn't have an autumn last year. I know, sounds crazy right?! But I left the UK at the beginning of September and headed for 6 months of travel, starting in Bali... not the most autumnal of places... followed by New Zealand, Fiji and Australia, slap bang in the middle of summer.
So yeah, this year autumn is a big deal. I've already started planning my decor, bakes and halloween costume. My AW inspo pinterest board is thriving (check it out, I'm minimallucy there too!) and I'm rummaging the thrift shops for the perfect chunky knits.
If you're looking for some cosy food to get you in the autumn spirit, is there anything more apt than a steamy, yummy plate of lasagna? Absolutely not. I've shared my mushroom bolognese recipe before (its a real winner) and its a stand-alone great dish, but if you're fond of a little more cheesy decadence then the layered wonder will satisfy any craving. I usually make it gluten free too, so everyone can enjoy it!
The thing that really makes this dish is... time. Leaving it reducing away on the stove for a couple of hours makes this feel special, and truly from the heart. Not only that but is there anything more autumnal than a big pot cooking away on the stove whilst you potter about doing other things? I love it. So while i'm a fan of quick easy recipes, this dish really deserves the extra time and attention, letting it simmer brings out the flavours and makes it a truly wow dish. Perfect for those evenings with family and friends you can make it ahead of time and then just pop in the oven right before you want to serve! So, check it out!
For the Bolognese
- 2 brown onions, finely chopped
- Good quality olive oil
- 4-6 cloves of garlic (don't let me tell you how much is too much, you know how much you love it)
- 400g of mushrooms ( I use a mix of chestnut and closed cap)
- 3 Tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (adjust to taste, sometimes i use up to 4, it depends on your tomatoes and the length of time you simmer it for)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tsp sugar (only if your tomatoes are particularly sour)
For the White Sauce
- 2 Tbsp dairy free butter
- 2 Tbsp flour (regular or GF)
- around 500ml unsweetened soy milk (again this depends on how you thicken it)
- 1 Tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
- A handful of dairy free cheese if you like
-Pasta sheets (gluten free or regular, this will vary the cooking time!)
- Dairy free cheese to top
- Sauté onions in olive oil until soft, add garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook out for a few minutes until flavours begin to deepen.
- Pulse mushrooms in food processor until you get a 'minced' texture
- Add mushrooms to pan and cook out the majority of the moisture (this can take some time)
- Add tomato puree
- Add tinned tomatoes and balsamic vinegar
- Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar
- lower heat and leave to cook as long as possible ( at the very least 30 mins but I often leave it for 3 or more hours) until flavours have developed. Keep checking regularly and adding vinegar/salt/pepper until you get a rich flavour.
- Once you are happy with your bolognese sauce and are ready to assemble the lasagne you will want to create your white sauce.
- Start off by melting the butter over a low heat, add the flour and mix together to create a roux.
- Slowly add the milk little by little, whisking in well as you go.
- You will eventually get a smooth creamy sauce
-Season the sauce with garlic powder, salt, pepper and cheese if you are using.
- You can then assemble the lasagne in a large oven-safe deep sided dish.
(I'm sure there is a specific way you're supposed to do the layering but I honestly just make it up)
-I usually start with a thin layer of bolognese sauce, this allows the bottom layer of pasta to come out easily, followed by white sauce, pasta and repeat. The very top layer should be white sauce and a sprinkling of grated cheese.
-Bake in the oven for at least 35 minutes, depending on the pasta. You can check if its ready by sliding a knife into the lasagna and seeing how easily it goes through. It should go through cleanly when ready.
- Remove lasagna from oven and cut into portions inside the dish, scoop out each portion on to a plate.
- Serve with garlic bread, rocket salad and good red wine.
If you make this dish and enjoy it, make sure to post a pic on instagram and tag me @minimalucy so I can repost it!