Classic vegan lasagne - this vegan lasagna is seriously good! A rich mushroom ragu is layered up with a creamy dairy-free bechamel sauce and sheets of pasta. It is hearty, filling, totally delicious and healthy too!
Start by putting the cashews for the bechamel to soak, cover them with boiling water and set aside while you get on with the ragu.
Very finely chop the onions; I like to do this in the food processor to save time.
Heat the 2 Tbsp sundried tomato oil in a large saucepan and add the chopped onion. Cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes, until the onions are soft.
Meanwhile, blitz the carrots, celery and red bell pepper in the food processor until finely chopped (or finely chop them by hand). There is no need to wash the food processor after chopping the onions before doing this.
Add the chopped vegetables to the pan along with the crushed garlic and finely chopped fresh rosemary and thyme. Cook for another ten minutes until softened.
Cut the chestnut mushrooms in half then blitz them in the food processor as before until they are finely chopped. It is best to do this in two or three batches so as not to overload the machine. Of course you can chop them by hand instead, it is just quite a lot of work!
Add the mushrooms to the pan along with the chopped sundried tomatoes and cook until the mushrooms are soft and most of the excess liquid has evaporated.
Add the red wine, tomato puree, balsamic vinegar and dried oregano and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated then add the vegetable stock cube, tinned tomatoes and water. Bring the sauce up to a simmer and leave to cook for half an hour, stirring every now and again.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
While the ragu is cooking get on with the bechamel sauce. Place the vegan butter in a saucepan and heat until it is melted then add the flour. Stir over a low heat for a couple of minutes until you have a doughy paste.
Very gradually stir in the warm milk; only add a little at a time, stirring thouroughly after each addition, that way you will avoid lumps.
Once all of the milk has been incorporated, bring the sauce up to a simmer. Stir constantly until it is thick and creamy. Remove the pan from the heat and add the crushed garlic, nutritional yeast, onion powder, lemon juice and plenty of salt and pepper.
Drain the soaked cashews and place them in a blender with the 200ml water. Blitz until they are totally smooth and creamy. Add the bechamel sauce to the blender and blend again to combine. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper as needed.
By now the ragu should be ready; give it a taste and add salt and pepper as needed. At this point, both the ragu and bechamel can be covered and stored in the fridge for a day before you assemble and cook the lasagna.
Spoon some of the ragu into the base of a large lasagne dish, making sure that the base is completely covered. Lay lasagna sheets on top of the layer of sauce, breaking them as necessary to form a complete layer.
Spread a decent layer of the ragu over the top then pour over some of the bechamel sauce. Add another layer of pasta sheets then repeat this two more times, finishing with a layer of pasta sheets.
Pour the remaining bechamel over the top, making sure that the pasta is completely covered. Bake the vegan lasagne for 15 minutes then cover the top with tin foil and return it to the oven for a further 50 minutes. Leave it to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Both the ragu and bechamel sauces can be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge before assembling and baking the lasagne.