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    The Happy Pear's Vegan lasagne with basil cashew cream and celeriac

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    The Happy Pear's Vegan lasagne with basil cashew cream and celeriac

    This dish started as a wild idea but after the first trial went so well it became a definite, this lasagna is surprisingly easy to make and well worth trying! We use sliced baked celeriac in place of traditional lasagne sheets - it adds a lovely sweet earthiness and gives the lasagne a great shape. The basil cashew cream is very easy to make and adds a creamy richness with basil smashing through. The sundried tomatoes and mushrooms give the tomato sauce a serious bite! 

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

    Serves: 6 - 8

    Ingredients

    1 celeriac, approximately 1kg
    1 medium sweet potato
    2 tbsp oil

    For the cashew cream:
    200g cashew nuts
    Juice of 1 lime
    100ml vegetable stock
    150ml olive oil
    50g fresh basil leaves

    For the tomato sauce:
    2 tbsp oil
    1 medium onion roughly chopped
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
    200g mushrooms, finely sliced
    1 bay leaf
    1 courgette, halved and sliced
    100ml red wine
    2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
    5 Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients Sundried Tomatoes (not in oil), chopped
    1 ½ tbsp maple syrup
    100g tomato purée

    Method

    1. Soak the cashew nuts for the cream in 300ml water for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180℃, gas mark 4.

    2. Meanwhile, peel the celeriac and slice into long strips to resemble sheets of lasagne - approximately ½ cm thick. Place onto 2 baking trays, then drizzle over 1 tbsp of oil and season.

    3. Scrub the sweet potato, leaving the skin on, then slice into bite sized pieces. Place on another baking tray, drizzle over the remaining 1 tbsp oil and season. Bake the celeriac and the sweet potatoes in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until soft.

    4. To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan on high heat, then add the onion, garlic and chilli and fry for 4 minutes, stirring regularly until the garlic is becoming golden and the onion transparent. Add the mushrooms, bay leaf and the courgette and continue to fry for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the red wine and allow to reduce for 2 minutes. Then add the chopped tomatoes together with the sun dried tomatoes, maple syrup, tomato purée and seasoning. Add the cooked sweet potatoes and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    5. To make the cashew cream, drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Add all of the ingredients for the cashew cream (including the stalks of the fresh basil) to a blender or food processor, season and blend until really smooth.

    6. Now assemble the lasagne. Cover the base of a 30cm x 20cm x 7cm deep ovenproof serving dish with half the cashew cream. Next add half the celeriac and pour all the tomato sauce over. Top with remaining celeriac and finish off with the remaining cashew cream.

    Bake for 15 minutes until the cashew cream starts to go solid.

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