For the sauce
Make a traditional beef ragu or Bolognese sauce using your favourite recipe but substitute red lentils for minced beef – be careful not to over cook the lentils!
For the mushroom layer
Pan-fry sliced mushrooms in olive oil
When they have released & reabsorbed their water add some finely chopped garlic & chives to the pan
Fry for a couple of minutes on a medium heat
Season with salt & pepper
For the lasagne
Spoon 1/3 of the lentil sauce into a oven-proof dish
Cover with lasagne sheets
Make a béchamel/white sauce and drizzle 1/4 of the sauce over the lasagne sheets
Sprinkle over some grated mature cheddar
Add another layer of lasagne sheets
Spread the cooked mushroom & chive mixture over the lasagne
Drizzle over another 1/4 of the béchamel/white sauce and some more grated mature cheddar
Repeat until you have used up your ingredients and finish with the remaining white sauce and more grated Cheddar
Cook for about 40 minutes at 200C/400F/Gas 6 or until the pasta is soft, the cheese is golden and the sauce bubbling!
This dish freezes well both cooked and uncooked.
Use kidney beans instead of lentils & add some chilli and ground cumin to the ‘ragu’
Add a little chopped fresh coriander to the mushroom mix
Use flour tortillas cut to size instead of lasagne sheets
Use a combination of mature Cheddar and grated mozzarella
360g organic flour – either all white or ½ white & ½ brown
120g mature Cheddar – grated
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill (or substitute chives if you prefer)
½ teaspoon local honey
2 teaspoons baking powder
300ml pilsner/lager at room temperature (non-alcoholic works too)
1.5 teaspoons salt
Butter at room temperature
Combine the flour/s, baking powder, dill, salt and Cheddar
Stir in the pilsner & honey
Pour into a buttered loaf tin and brush the top with a little oil or butter
Bake at 190C for about 35-40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean
However tempted you are to eat this loaf, allow it to cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing!
This loaf works well using gluten free flours (e.g. Doves Farm) and lager (e.g.Estrella Damm Daura Gluten Free Lager or Celia Organic Gluten Free Lager)
Perfect with lots of butter!
& makes a fine tuna mayo sandwich too!
Tuna + mayonnaise + capers + cucumber + lemon + black pepper, et voila!
Hollow out squash & par-bake
Saute the scooped out squash & garlic in olive oil
Fill the par-baked squash with the sauteed squash + cooked quinoa + skinned seeded tomatoes + blanched spinach + chopped marinated olives + chives + dill + paprika + diced + halloumi
Return to oven and cook through
Vegetarian & gluten free
For the mushroom filling:
Slice mushrooms & sauté in light olive oil
When golden add a little finely chopped garlic & cook for a minute or two
Add a big splash of dry sherry + water + sprig of thyme + sea salt + pepper
Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half
Add corn flour to thicken the sauce
When cooked through remove the thyme sprig & add a spoonful of mascarpone + chopped chives
For the chestnut pancakes:
120g chestnut flour
80g gluten free flour – I used chickpea flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
pinch of salt
150ml cold water
Mix together all the ingredients to make a thin batter – add more liquid if necessary
Leave to rest in fridge for 5 minutes
Put 1/3 of ladleful of batter into a hot lightly oiled non-stick frying pan
Quickly swirl the batter around to cover the bottom of the pan
Cook for 2 minutes over a medium-high heat
Flip and cook for another minute
Cook the rest of the batter & keep the pancakes warm
Preheat fan oven to 180°C
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling down the centre of a pancake & roll it up
Place in a buttered oven proof dish
Repeat with remaining pancakes & filling
Sprinkle over grated vegetarian ‘Parmesan’ mixed with chopped chives & black pepper.
I used Tesco Everyday Italian hard cheese which is suitable for vegetarians
Bake for 15 minutes or until piping hot & the cheese is golden
Goes well with balsamic dressed rocket salad
If making sweet pancakes then use 100% chestnut flour which is naturally sweet and omit the salt. Goes great with Nutella (or homemade cocoa/cacao toasted hazelnut & vanilla spread) + sliced bananas + vanilla ice cream!
First batch of seitan sage and thyme ‘sausages’ from the test kitchen – delicious and made from scratch! Now on to homemade red pepper ketchup . . . . .
Sage and spring onion make great breakfast sausages too
Shred the meat of a cooked smoked or unsmoked gammon joint
Blend together the shredded ham + butter (at room temp) + Dijon mustard + white pepper in a food processor
When your desired consistency is achieved remove the blade from the processor bowl and stir in finely chopped parsley, chives & tarragon
Pack this mixture into ramekins
Top with clarified butter & chill ’til set
Ideal for a simple lunch, supper or dinner party starter!