Lasagne alla Bolognese

This is a recipe for authentic Italian lasagne alla bolognese that uses tvp instead of meat for the tomato sauce. Most Italians will tell you the key ingredient to lasagne is béchamel, and the soy version of the creamy sauce is just as good!

Serves 4

What you need:

for the bolognese sauce:
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and finely diced
4 stalks celery, finely diced
2 cups texturized vegetable protein (tvp), optional
1 cup white wine
3 cups vegetable stock
800g canned crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper

for the béchamel sauce:
3 1/4 cups plain soy milk
6 tbsp margarine
1/4 cup flour
1.5 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg

for the noodles:
around 15 dry lasagne noodles (for a med. casserole dish)

In a large pan, fry the onions, celery, and carrots in the 4 tbsp olive oil for 20 minutes. Mix in the two cups dry tvp and stir for another few minutes. Add the wine, stirring the vegetables until it has evaporated. Do the same with the vegetable broth, adding cup by cup until it has evaporated as well. Add the crushed tomatoes and spices and simmer for 2 hours on low heat.

Meanwhile, start making the béchamel sauce. Melt the 6 tbsp butter in a saucepan on medium heat. When the butter has melted, stir in the flour quickly with a spoon for two minutes. Remove pan from heat and add the soy milk. Return the pan on medium heat and start whisking the soy milk until the sauce begins to boil and thickens (time varies for this). When the sauce has thickened, remove from heat and set aside. Add salt and a pinch of nutmeg and stir in.

In a pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. Cook the lasagne noodles until al dente and set aside. Now to begin assembling the lasagne.

Fill the bottom of a casserole dish with 1 tbsp olive oil and a scoop of béchamel sauce. Place the lasagne noodles on top. Spread another scoop of béchamel sauce on top of the noodles and place a scoop of bolognese sauce on top of that. Continue in this order of noodle, béchamel, bolognese until you have a top layer of just noodles. Save one last scoop of béchamel sauce to spread over the top layer of noodles.

Bake the lasagne at 175 celsius (350 f) for 40 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

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