This recipe is three recipes in one – a silky cashew cheese, rich tomato sauce, and baked vegetables all layered on top of each other interspliced with gluten free lasagna sheets. It’s 100% gluten, sugar-free and vegan but it tastes like decadent comfort food. It takes a little extra prep time, but if you plan it and make the sauce and the cashew cheese while the vegetables are baking, you can layer this together and then just chill out and make a salad, listen to a record, do whatever you want to do while it’s cooking.
1 large sweet potato
1/2 butternut pumpkin
2 cups mushrooms
6 large leaves silverbeet or chard
2 cups cashews (soaked for two hours)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
Juice and zest of one lemon
Salt to taste
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
2 cans crushed tomatoes (or equivalent fresh tomatoes)
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
Additional ingredients: Sesame seeds to sprinkle on top, gluten free lasagna sheets
Begin by slicing the sweet potato, pumpkin and zucchini and place on baking trays. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and place in a 180 degree oven to cook. Check semi regularly, cooking until pumpkin and sweet potato is tender but only just past the edge of having some bite. It will cook further in the lasagna so you don’t want to overcook it at this stage.
Blacken the capsicum over a gas flame, using tongs to turn regularly until all sides are completely blackened. Remove from heat and leave aside to let it sweat. This will help you remove the skin once it has cooled down a bit.
Drain the cashews and place in a food processor with the rest of the cashew cheese ingredients. Add water slowly to get the consistency you want – like a thick white sauce. Taste for seasoning and set aside.
Chop the onions and garlic for the passata and saute in olive oil until onions become translucent. Add crushed tomatoes and stir through, adding a cup of water to thin the mixture (it will thicken again as the tomatoes cook down). Season with salt and pepper, and add paprika. Bring to a simmer and stir regularly until it has thickened slightly.
Slice mushrooms, and remove the stems from the chard. Place the chard leaves on top of one another and roll together, slicing into strips. Use the blade of a knife to scrape the blackened skin from the capsicum and slice into strips.
You can now begin assembling the lasagna. Spoon a small amount of sauce into the bottom of the baking dish and place one layer of the lasagna sheets on top. Continue to alternatate layers of vegetables, sauce and cheese, making sure you leave enough sauce and cheese to do the final layer at the top. I only had a small amount of each left and kind of drizzled them both over the top and it was fine. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top and cover with tin foil.
Place in a 200 degree oven and for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes. Check with a knife to see if it is cooked through, being careful that the pasta sheets are fully cooked. If it does not seem ready, cook a little longer. I actually made and assembled my lasagna a few hours before I needed to cook it and this may help to soften the pasta sheets.
When it is ready, slice into pieces and serve with a colourful salad.