This loaded vegan lasagne is chock-full of seasonal veggies, and brimming with my wonderfully creamy besciamella. Its deliciousness completely belies the ease with which it is made, and is pretty much guaranteed to put a smile on the faces of all who eat it!
Heat the oil in a large pan, and fry the onions and leeks for around 5 mins, until they begin to turn translucent.
Add the garlic, and continue to fry for another 5 mins, stirring occasionally.
Add the peppers and aubergine, turn the heat to low, cover, and gently cook for 30 mins, until caramelised.
Add the butternut squash, sun-dried tomatoes, olives (plus a little brine), and tomato sauce, stir, then cover the pan, reduce the heat, and leave to cook for 20 mins or so, until the squash is soft. (I use the sauté function on my Crock-Pot to do all of this - it has five heat settings, and makes life so much easier!)
Once the sauce is ready, stir in the torn basil, and season with Vegeta and black pepper.
While the sauce is cooking, make the besciamella: place the onion, bay leaves and Oatly into a large pan, cover, and infuse over a low heat for 10 mins.
Raise the heat, and allow to boil rapidly for another 2-3 mins. This is important, as it makes the besciamella really creamy.
Next, remove the bay leaves, and discard, then pour the milk and onion into a blender jar (I use my Froothie Vac 2), add the rest of the ingredients, and blend on the highest speed for 30 seconds.
Return the mixture to the pan, and bring back to a low boil for 5 mins, until thickened, and the flour has cooked in.
Taste, and add more nutmeg and black pepper if desired. Set aside.
Also while the sauce is cooking, pre-cook the lasagne sheets: boil a very large pan of salted water (this is essential to stop the pasta sticking together), and add 2-3 sheets, one at a time. Boil for a couple of mins, until the pasta is pliable. You want it leathery, not soft. Remove from the water, and place the sheets in in a single layer on a chopping board. Repeat for the rest of the pasta, topping up the water as necessary, and allowing it to come to the boil again before adding more sheets.
Pre-heat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
Build the lasagne: once everything is ready, spread 2 ladlefuls of sauce over the bottom of your lasagne dish, then ⅓ of the chopped kale, and ⅓ of the raw broccoli and asparagus.
Ladle over enough besciamella to generously cover the veggies, and then place 4 lasagne sheets over the top. You may need to overlap them like shutters.
Repeat twice, finishing with the last of the pasta on top.
Ladle over the rest of the besciamella, sprinkle over the grated cheese/parmesan, if using, and arrange the halved tomatoes over the top. Finish with a few grinds of black pepper.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden, and the pasta is properly cooked through.
Remove from the oven, and leave to rest for 10-15 mins before serving - it will be far easier to cut up if you do!
Leftovers may be kept in the fridge for up to a week if tightly covered or in an airtight container. Freeze individual portions for up to three months, and reheat at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
If making gluten-free, omit plain flour, and use 3 tbsp cornflour instead, or sub your own favourite gluten free flour blend.
You may wish to add a little more nutmeg, depending on your personal taste. Don't add more than an extra ¼ tsp though, or else the besciamella will be bitter.