Flageolet bean and lentil lasagne

38saves
1hr30min


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About this recipe: This colourful main dish is built up with layers of red pepper, lentil and bean sauce, sheets of lasagne and sliced artichoke hearts. The creamy, richly flavoured topping is a combination of ricotta and Parmesan cheeses.

Norma MacMillan

Ingredients
Serves: 6 

  • 200 g (7 oz) no-precook lasagne sheets, about 12
  • 1 can artichoke hearts in water, about 400 g, drained, rinsed and sliced
  • 150 g (5½ oz) ricotta cheese
  • 100 ml (3½ fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Lentil and bean sauce
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 100 g (3½ oz) split red lentils
  • 2 large red peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 550 ml (18 fl oz) vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cans flageolet beans, about 410 g each, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper

Method
Prep:50min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:1hr30min 

  1. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for 10 minutes or until softened. Add the lentils, red peppers, carrot, celery, stock and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are very tender.
  2. Remove the bay leaf, then pure in a blender or food processor, or using a hand-held blender directly in the pan, until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the flageolet beans.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5). Spoon about one-quarter of the sauce over the bottom of a greased large ovenproof dish. Cover with one-third of the lasagne sheets, then top with half of the remaining sauce. Arrange half the sliced artichoke hearts over the sauce. Repeat with another layer of pasta, then the rest of the sauce and the rest of the artichokes. Finish with the last of the pasta sheets.
  4. Put the ricotta cheese into a bowl and stir in the milk until smooth. Season with pepper to taste. Spoon the ricotta sauce over the lasagne, then scatter the grated Parmesan on top.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbling and the top is golden. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

Some more ideas

Replace the artichoke hearts with 400 g (14 oz) baby spinach leaves, steamed for about 1 minute or until wilted. * For a mixed bean and lentil lasagne, replace the flageolet beans with 2 cans mixed beans (usually haricot, pinto, kidney, chickpea, flageolet and soya), about 410 g each, drained and rinsed. Use either artichoke hearts or steamed spinach.

Plus points

Red lentils cook quickly to a pure and so are particularly good in soups and sauces such as this one. Although split lentils are less nutritious than whole lentils, they still provide B vitamins and iron. * Pasta is an excellent source of low-fat starchy carbohydrate and contains valuable vitamins, particularly the B vitamins, which help in the release of energy from food. * Peppers contain the antioxidant beta-carotene, but the amount depends very much on the colour of the pepper. Green peppers supply 265 mcg beta-carotene per 100 g (3½ oz), while red peppers offer a whopping 3840 mcg for the same weight.

Each serving provides

A, C * B1, niacin, calcium, copper, iron, potassium, zinc * B2, B6, E, folate, selenium

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