kate5kiwis: lentil lasagne


“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” — Mitsugi Saotome

Saturday, January 12, 2008

lentil lasagne

i'm not apologising for my hippieness:
i. love. red. lentils.
when they're cooked just right, they have a wonderful meaty texture at a tenth of the price of meat.

about ten years ago, during one of those the-cupboard-is-bare moments, around the time i first discovered sophie gray, i made the very-hippie-sounding *lentil lasagne*. it turned out to be a hit with the fusspots that live around here les enfants, and so it's become a family staple. sometimes i put mince with the lentils, but today instead of reaching for the meat i negotiated The Jungle Veggie Garden instead:
lookit that: millions of weeds basil leaves, parsley, silverbeet leaves, and beautiful little yellow courgettes/zucchini
which i chopped and grated to form layers of delish veggieness.
S10 even helped me roll out some handmade fresh pasta. it's way more effort, but i think that a good lasagne really needs fresh pasta rather than dried. and it's healthier too.

these days i make about three times the original quantity of ten years ago!
i'm not much of a recipe-follower, so am writing this down for future lentil-days, cos it worked lol.
i know you The Young Ones groupies out there are now having flashbacks of Neil droning, "Gu-u-u-u-ys, dinner's on the flo-o-o-o-or..." after one of his culinary adventures with lentils repeatedly exploding all over the kitchen...

*just breathe*

katie's sexy lentil lasagne
3 cups red lentils, bring to the boil, simmer gently ten mins, drain.

in a separate pan:

2 chopped onions (sprinkle of salt to sweat),
sautéed in a generous swish of olive oil until becoming clear
3 tins chopped tomatoes
gigantic squirt tomato paste
freshly ground black pepper
huge handfuls of basil and parsley from
The Jungle Veggie Garden
chopped silverbeet from same place
3 grated carrots
add lentils, more tomato paste, few italian dried herbs
simmer ever-so-gently for fifteen mins.

make fresh pasta:
2 free range eggs (yes i'm a convert to happy chickens)
1 1/2 c flour plus extra flour to sprinkle as rolling pasta dough

make sauce:
100g butter
flour, milk.

into HUGE ROASTING PAN spread red sauce, pasta, white sauce, extra silverbeet and grated yellow courgette (to sneak into les enfants)
grated GOLD cheese (why are dairy products so suddenly *crazily* expensive here in a dairy exporting nation?? i know *why* but ten dollars a kilo for cheese *on special* is completely ridiculous. so is three dollars for a pound of butter!!! i will not even mention the word "petrol". i think we'll be getting a horse and cart instead of replacing The Sardine Tin.)

repeat with the rest of the ingredients, finishing with grated cheese and another sprinkle of cracked pepper.

180 degrees celsius for an hour/hour and a half while bribing Hubby to clean up the bombsite kitchen.

let lasagne set for a few hours (this recipe is kinda wet), reheat gently at dinner time.
watch everyone consume it in the blink of an eye with a fresh green salad which
even has *cucumbers* out of The Jungle Veggie Garden in it!!!


Blogger Da Setiuz Mama said...

Hey you clever cooker!
Thanks for your sexy lasagne recipe!!
I was just looking at my rather large zucchini and the bag of lentils in the pantry and wondered what I could do with these in conjunction with each other!
You Jungle (aka veggie garden) is looking Fabulous!!

1:28 PM  
Blogger Barb the Evil Genius said...

Thanks for the recipe! I know Mr. EG would love to make our own pasta, but girl, have you seen how much pasta makers *are*? :) Seriously, it's probably one of those things we'll do when we're living the Dream Life.

2:32 PM  
Blogger oacemama said...

Fabulous recipe...I *might* even be able to get J to eat this one...perhaps...if he was really hungry!

But the rest of us will devour it...I am all about the fresh pasta...bout time I TM'ed a Pasta maker.

2:44 PM  
OpenID hippyhappyhay said...

With you on the price of cheese, I have been whinging about it to Mr Music, he is rather sick of hearing about it. Can't wait to discuss it with you in our next nana chat :)

2:58 PM  
Blogger nova_j said...

oooo that sounds SO me! we always have red lentils, and there's fresh silverbeet sitting in the garden :-)

3:37 PM  
Blogger cesca said...

Oh yes, we ARE on the same wavelength, aren't we? What with the Neil thing and the gardening thing.

THEN, it just so happens that lentils for our dahl dinner are simmering on the stovetop as I type, PLUS I spent a good few anxious moments two days ago standing in front of the cheese section of the supermarket looking utterly and totally baffled. Where's the cheap cheese gone??

Mmm, and can't wait to try your lasagne recipe also. :-)

3:55 PM  
Blogger LeighLeigh said...

without seeming older than my few years, I have to admit that last week I *desperately* needed butter, and had to pay $4.49 for the 500g!!! It wasn't even the dairy - it was the proper big (should be heaps cheaper) supermarket....I was not impressed...but on the up side - aren't you enjoying the dirt cheap Avocados - maybe we could start substituting!!

4:45 PM  
Blogger kate5kiwis said...

hello hippie-chicks/hip chicks
go the lentils, huh.
sorry no time for individual hellos, have been online to hay All Evening and unfortunately forgot to talk about cheese, sheesh.
not so domestiKATEd after all

barb try eBay or your local italian-gadget-cast-off-store lol, hubby/hubby's parents bought me a pasta maker for my birthday a few years ago, it's a great piece of equipment, good for the biceps lol. you can Roll Your Own if you prefer... with a rolling pin and loads of flour... mamma mia!!! X

11:27 PM  
Blogger Rach said...

hey gals you don't need a pasta-maker. We just made fresh pasta while we were camping. For eleven people at a time. It's really not that hard!

Now enlighten me please. Where's the sexy bit? Do you make it in your frilly pink-n-white bikini? ;-) I'm wondering what I'm missing when I do lentils.

BTW, you'll be pleased I've almost caught up on all your posts!

10:58 PM  
Anonymous kerner said...

Hi! I don't visit often, because, well, I'm a guy and I feel a little out of place. But this is really a cool site. I have 5 kids myself, so we have that in common. I live in the northern USA (Wisconsin, a few hundred miles west of Barb, the evil genius). I know it's summer in NZ, but it's below zero (Fahrenheit!) here. I see your garden and I become enormously jealous. My own basil and parsley are dead and in hibernation, respectively, so fresh herbs are unavailable to me.

But I'm saving your recipe. Middle daughter has become a vegitarian (again) and this looks really good.

Oh, and the guy mixing techno-pop in his kitchen is brilliant. One more of my horizons broadened by the internet, courtesy of Kate the kiwi.. Well, Au revoir, Madame. Bien fait, bien sur bien fait.

5:20 AM  
Blogger kate5kiwis said...

ummm, you know me.
i ain't revealing what i wear in the kitchen... lol X

hey, your name is jogging my memory from months gone by, can't remember where i've seen ya.
thanks for the encouragement and enthusiasm, it makes me giggle how many peeps actually *like* lentils and admit it!!! bonne chance! i hope your daughter loves the lasagne as much as my kiddos X

10:29 PM  

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