Lentil Lasagna by Chef Michael Smith

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Total time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Servings: 6-8

The only thing more satisfying then a pan full of freshly baked lasagna is a recipe that speeds up and simplifies this classic dish. This dish is so speedy that you’ll have plenty of time to include lots of healthy tasty lentils too!

Chef Michael Smith

Recipe by

Chef Michael Smith

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Ingredients

Directions

Nutrition

Ingredients

    For the Tomato-Meat Sauce

    A big splash of olive oil

    2 onions, chopped

    1 whole head of garlic cloves, minced

    1 28 oz can (796 mL) of crushed or puréed tomatoes, juice reserved

    2 tablespoons (30 mL) of dried oregano

    1 or 2 bay leaves

    1 lb (500 g) of ground beef

    4 Italian sausages, casings removed

    2 cups (500 mL) of cooked lentils

    1 teaspoon (5 mL) of salt

    1 cup (250 mL) of fresh local water

    For the Cheese Sauce

    2 eggs, whisked together

    1 cup (250 mL) of heavy cream (35%)

    1 lb (454 g) of ricotta cheese

    4 cups (1 L) of shredded mozzarella cheese

    2 cups (500 mL) of grated Parmesan cheese

    For Assembling the Lasagna

    2 boxes of ready-to-bake lasagna noodles (1 lb each)

    1 cupful (250 mL) or so of shredded mozzarella cheese


Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Turn on your convection fan if you have one. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  2. For the meat sauce, begin by splashing some olive oil into a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, sautéing until they heat through and lightly colour. Add the tomatoes, oregano, bay leaves, ground beef, sausage meat, salt, lentils, and water. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon, breaking the meat up into small pieces. By not browning the meat you also avoid toughening it and the long simmering time that would then be necessary to tenderize it. Continue stirring and cooking until the entire mixture is simmering and ready for lasagna assembly, about 20 minutes in total.
  3. To make the cheese sauce, simply whisk together the eggs, the heavy cream, and the four cups of mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan cheeses.
  4. To assemble the lasagna, layer the ingredients in the pan in this order: Two cups (500 mL) or so of the meat sauce, a layer of noodles, half of the cheese sauce, another noodle layer, another meat sauce layer, another noodle layer, the remaining cheese sauce, another noodle layer, the remaining meat sauce and last but not least, a thick layer of mozzarella with the last cup.
  5. Lightly spray oil on one side of a large sheet of tin foil then invert and cover the pan tightly and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and continue cooking for another 15 minutes, giving the top a chance to get golden brown and crusty.