This led me to think of other vegetable based mixes that I could substitute for the lentil ragu layer. I’ve come up with a long list of possibilities and I’m working my way through them. Lasagna is currently featuring weekly on my meal plan! The first one was a mushroom ragu, flavoured with thyme. Another favourite to add to my folder! I’ve rounded up all the lasagna I’m doing, plus a few other suggestions, and I’ll be adding to it as we go along. This weeks version uses a beetroot ragu with an unusual addition of orange.
Absolutely delicious! Serve with a bit of salad, garlic bread or cooked vegetables. I asked my husband if he could identify the mystery ingredient (the orange) and he couldn’t. If you know it’s there, you can taste it, but it really acts like a seasoning and adds another layer of flavour.
I added a few crushed walnuts to our salad as walnuts are another classic flavour combination with beetroot
Use plant milk, a vegan spread and a vegan cheese for vegans, or just leave out the cheese part. If you can’t find lasagna sheets without egg, and you want to make this vegan, you could try making pasta, it’s really not very difficult.
I’ve found that this can be used as a basic recipe for lasagna, just changing the ragu layer for all sorts of other things. I’ve done a lentil one, a mushroom one, this beetroot one, and a falafel layer one will be next!
I looked up what flavours go well with beetroot and decided to use orange. You could use an apple instead. Or just beetroot without anything else.
You could use horseradish rather than mustard too.
- 2 tblsp butter £1.45/250g, 17p
- 1 onion a large one, finely chopped, 75p/kg, 8p
- 2 packs beetroot 250g packs, 65p each, £1.08
- 2 clementines or an orange, 30p
- 2 tsp garlic granules £1.09/115g, 10p
- 1 tsp grainy mustard heaped spoon, 3p
- salt & pepper
- 50 g butter Asda £1.45/250g, 29p
- 50 g flour value, 45p/1.5kg
- 500 ml milk £1.09/2.27litres, 24p
- 0.5 tsp nutmeg fresh, grated - optional
- 2 bay leaves optional
- 100 g flour value, 45p/1.5kg, 3p
- or 4 lasagna sheets
- 80 g cheddar £3.69/825g, 36p
To Make The Ragu Layer
- The pack of beetroot I had was 250g, Asda ones are 300g. You could either just use the whole pack, or use the extra in a salad
- Melt the butter in a pan and saute the onion until cooked through. Put the beetroot in a bowl and mash them up, or chop finely on a chopping board. Add the cooked onion, garlic and mustard. Zest the orange or clementine into the bowl. Then peel and chop the flesh finely. Mix into the beetroot mix. Season well
To Make Bechamel
- For the bechamel layer, melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and stir around to mix and cook a little. Now add half a cup of the milk and stir continuously until the milk is absorbed. I like to use a small whisk for this. Repeat until all the milk has been used. Infuse with a bay leaf or two if you have any
- To make the dish vegan, use plant milk, a vegan spread, a vegan cheese and either make pasta sheets or use a vegan version
- Simmer very gently for around half an hour with the lid on. This prolonged cooking time really does improve the flavour, but if you don't have the time, go straight to the next step click here to start a 30 minute timer
- Add a little grated nutmeg right at the end if you have any. Season well with salt and pepper, taste and adjust. Use a little spoon of mustard as well if you like. All the seasonings are added at the end of the cooking time as the heat of the cooking reduces their flavour. We still have to cook it in the oven of course.
To Make Pasta
- If you want to make pasta, for cheapness, or to make the dish vegan – for 2, put 50g flour in a bowl and add enough cold water to make a pastry like dough. For 4, use 100g flour. Knead a little, or just leave in the bowl for a couple of hours and the gluten will develop.
Divide into 3. Roll out each third to the thickness of a credit card and approximately the shape of your dish.Or just use value pasta sheets.
Layer Up Your Lasagna
- Now layer up your lasagna in an ovenproof dishDivide your beetroot ragu into 3 sections in the saucepan. Divide the bechamel into 4 sections in the saucepan. Divide the cheddar into 4.
- Layer oneRaguBechamelsprinkle with cheddarPasta or lasagna sheets
- Layer tworepeatRaguBechamelsprinkle with cheddarPasta or lasagna sheets
- Layer threerepeatRaguBechamelsprinkle with cheddarPasta or lasagna sheets
- Now top it all off with the last layer of bechamel. Sprinkle with the last cheddar
- Bake at 180c for about half an hour until golden and bubbling. click here to start a 30 minute timer
Got a great recipe? How about submitting it to appear on Thrifty Lesley!