Too lazy/busy/efficient to make lasagna? Want bolognese but don’t want to bust out the meat? I got you! This is definitely a weeknight meal, ideal for those times when you want lasagna, but not enough to actually make lasagna. A one pot wonder that is packed with the meaty goodness of lentils. They release their natural juices into the broth, lending it plenty of body. Everything comes together like a deconstructed lasagna with all the ingredients we love: noodles, olives, ricotta, tomato of course, and kale. Don’t forget the fresh basil.
This recipe is from the beef stew chapter of Fake Meat.
~Use rugged kale here – like curly or russian. It will hold up better. But if you use a tender kale like lacinato then just add it at the end, with the basil.
~This is easily made gluten-free with gf noodles, like wow.
~This recipe uses one of my favorite flavor-building methods – toasting the nooch with the spices! It lends a delish cheezy flavor that elevates your dinner game with minimal effort.
1 medium yellow onion, cut into small dice
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt plus a big pinch
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Several grinds freshly cracked black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup dried brown or green lentils
1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomato
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup pitted black olives, sliced in half
8 ounces kale, chopped
8 ounces lasagna noodles
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves (you’ll be using more for garnish)
For the toppings:
Vegan riccota (there’s a recipe here if you’d like to make your own)
1 cup sliced black olives
Red pepper flakes
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 – Preheat a 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, celery, and bell pepper in the oil with a big pinch of salt for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onion is lightly browned.
2 – Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the nutritional yeast, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt and toss to coat the veggies, letting the nutritional yeast toast a bit, for 2 minutes or so. Grind in fresh black pepper.
3 – Add the broth and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula to deglaze. Stir in the lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a simmer, keep covered and cook until lentils are somewhat tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
4 – Add the diced tomato, tomato paste, olives, and kale. Bring to a boil, letting the kale wilt. Break the lasagna noodles up into about 3-inch pieces and stir them in. Cook until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally and add a little water if things start to look too thick.
5 – When the pasta noodles are cooked, dinner is ready! Stir in the fresh basil to wilt. Taste for salt and seasoning. Let sit for about 10 minutes so that the flavors can marry. Scoop into bowls, garnish with dollops of ricotta, the sliced olives, red pepper flakes, and more fresh basil.