Home Food and Cooking Vegetarian bolognese – Recipe

Vegetarian bolognese – Recipe

Vegetarian bolognese

Minced turkey can be made from either breast or thigh meat – if you want to keep the fat down, go for minced turkey breast. Here, instead of making a white sauce, Parmesan cheese is mixed with fat-free quark, making this a simple lasagne to prepare. To top this off, toasted bread is blitzed to make some crispy breadcrumbs, but stale bread works equally well.

Ingredients
1 tsp olive oil
750g/1lb 10oz turkey mince
2 onions, quartered
4 carrots, cut into chunks
3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
100g/3½oz tomato purée
2 reduced-salt chicken stock cubes or 2 x 28g reduced-salt chicken stock pots
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
small bunch basil, roughly chopped
240g/8½oz frozen chopped spinach
4 slices wholemeal bread (use stale bread if you have it)
750g/1lb 10oz fat-free quark
50g/1¾oz Parmesan, finely grated
375g/13oz dried lasagne sheets
640g/1lb 6oz frozen peas
freshly ground black pepper

Vegetarian bolognese

Method
Heat a large, deep-sided sauté pan or flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and turkey and fry for 3–4 minutes until browned all over, stirring regularly.

Meanwhile, tip the onions, carrots and garlic into a food-processor and pulse until roughly chopped (or roughly chop them by hand). Add them to the pan and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. You want them to soften but not colour, so it’s a good idea to put a lid on the pan to help retain the moisture and steam the vegetables at the same time.

Add the oregano and thyme and cook for another minute. Stir in the tomato purée and turn the heat up, stirring constantly until well combined.

Crumble in the stock cubes or add the stock pots, then tip in the tomatoes. Fill both the empty tomato tins with water, swirl around and add to the pan. Stir well and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until the turkey is tender and the sauce is reduced slightly.

Stir in the chopped basil and frozen spinach and heat through for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, if you are using fresh bread, toast it lightly, then set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.

Tip the quark into a bowl, add the grated Parmesan and plenty of black pepper and mix well.

Set a large, oblong baking dish (about 32x23cm/13x9in) on a baking tray. Spoon a third of the turkey ragù into the dish and level out so that it covers the bottom of the dish evenly. Lay a third of the lasagne sheets over the top, covering the turkey ragù completely. Spoon a third of the quark mixture over the top of the pasta in an even layer. Repeat the layers until you’ve used up all the turkey ragù, pasta and quark mixture, ending with a layer of the quark mixture.

Blitz the toasted bread in a blender or food-processor to form crumbs, then scatter over the top of the assembled lasagne. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes then uncover and cook for a further 15 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.

Remove the lasagne from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes while you cook the peas. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the frozen peas and cook for 2–3 minutes until hot through, then drain. Cut the lasagne into portions and serve with the peas alongside.

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Source: BBC FOODS