We are coming to the end of the greek-cypriot theme, yes a lasagne is by no means an original greek dish (all credit to you Italians out there!), there is no cypriot household that does not make a lasagne at least once a month.
I made this dish when my mother in law came over to stay with us in Cyprus – i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again – one-pan recipes are just great when you’re cooking for more than two people and want to make an impression! It passed the MIL test (mother-in-law) and the Hubs seemed quite proud to present her with this dish. So conclusion is: Hallelujah, It worked pretty well!
The one im presenting to you here, is a twist on the classic lasagne; why is there a twist? Cos there is a creamy green layer in between the red sauce and the bechamel, which you dont even have to cook – its so tasty though that once you blend it, you might eat it straight out of the processor *! As a random benefit, while boosting the flavours of this dish, this green layer really boosts the iron and protein content of this dish. If you want to make a classic lasagne, i would suggest you skip the Green Sauce, make a little bit more of the red mince sauce, and instead of the green layer, add one more red sauce layer, still topping with bechamel – the way its done traditionally. However if you want to try something different then go ahead and follow the recipe below. Remember, let us know your thoughts and your pictures people!
Serving suggestion: Warm pitta bread with a fresh salad.
Ingredients (4 servings)
RED SAUCE / ΚΟΚΚΙΝΗ ΣΑΛΤΣΑ:
- 75gr soy mince / 75γρ κιμά σόγιας
- 2.5tbsp olive oil / 2.5κσ. ελαιόλαδο
- 1 onion, chopped / 1 κρεμμύδι, ψιλοκομμένο
- 2 garlic cloves, minced / 2 σκελίδες σκόρδο, ψιλοκομμένες
- 1cup frozen peas / 1φλ. κατεψυγμένο μπιζέλι
- 1.5tbsp tomato paste / 1.5κσ. πάστα ντομάτας
- 1tbsp basil & 1tbsp za’atar (or oregano) / 1κσ. αποξηραμένος βασιλικός & 1κσ. Ζατάρ (ή ρίγανη)
- 1/2cup water / 1/2φλ. νερό
- 500gr chopped tomatoes / 500γρ ψιλοκομμένη ντομάτα (κονσέρβας)
- 1.5tsp sugar / 1.5κσ. ζάχαρη
- 1tbsp molasses (optional) / 1κσ. μελάσα (προαιρετικό)
- GREEN SAUCE / ΠΡΑΣΙΝΗ ΣΑΛΤΣΑ: 275gr white beans or cannelini beans (about one and a half tin) drained and rinsed / 275γρ άσπρα φασόλια ή κφασόλια καννελίνι
- 2 handful spinach, roughly chopped / 2 χούφτες σπανάχι
- 1 large garlic clove, minced / 1 μεγάλη σκελίδα σκόρδο
- 1/3 lemon, juice / 1/3 λεμόνι (χυμός)
- 6tbsp plant-based milk / 6κσ. γάλα σόγιας ή αμυγδάλου
- Salt, pepper, sprinkle of nutmeg / Αλάτι, πιπέρι και λίγο μοσχοκάρυδο
- LASAGNE / ΛΑΖΑΝΙΑ : 7-9 lasagne dried pasta sheets / 7-9 αποξηραμένα φύλλα λαζάνιας
- 200gr Vegan cheese grated (optional) / 200γρ νηστίσιμο τυρί τριμμένο (προαιρετικό)
- BECHAMEL SAUCE / ΣΑΛΤΣΑ ΒΕΣΙΑΜΕΛ: see ingredients and process HERE (Πατήστε εδώ για μπεσιαμέλ)
*You will need a food processor for the GREEN SAUCE layer * Θα χρειαστείς μπλέντερ για πολτοποίηση της πράσινης σάλτσας
Directions (70 minutes)
- Firstly re-hydrate your soy mince: Put mince in a bowl. Cover them by about 1cm of hot water, leave for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze out all the water from the mince over a sieve. It should look like mince now. Set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 210 degrees Celcius
- Heat up the olive oil on medium heat and fry onion for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for 3-4 minutes more. Add in the frozen peas, the tomato paste, basil and za’atar (or oregano) and stir-fry for 5 minutes more.
- Add in the chopped tomatoes, 1/2 cup water, molasses (optional), sugar and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Once that comes to the boil, close the lid, reduce heat to lowest and simmer for 10mins.
- While thats simmering, put all the ingredients for GREEN SAUCE in a processor and blend till it all comes together. Set aside. (skip this step if you want to make a classic lasagne)
- Remove the lid off your red sauce, and simmer uncovered for 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and add in soy mince. Allow this to sit on the side while you make your bechamel
- Make bechamel as described here
- Layering: Brush some olive oil at bottom of your pyrex dish. Spread all of your RED SAUCE at the bottom. Layer with 3 or 4 pasta lasagne sheets. On top of that layer your green sauce. Layer another 3 or 4 pasta sheets. Lastly, spread all your bechamel sauce on top of the last pasta layer. Sprinkle with grated vegan cheese (optional)
- Place in oven for about 25 minutes. Voila! Let it cool for 20 minutes before serving.