Monday, June 6, 2011

Creamy ( And Still Dairy Free) Lasagna

This isn't your typical Italian, or even American, lasagna. This one, my friends, is unlike any you've had, unless you been to South Africa. Our good friend Morne, who is from Johannesburg, South Africa, made it for dinner one night while he was staying with us back in February. The original recipe has a cream sauce that you make out of milk, butter, and flour instead of using ricotta cheese. When Morne made it for me he made the sauce with soy milk and dairy free margarine. I could not believe it when I took the first bite- it was the creamy lasagna I had been missing so much!

Our friend Morne with his youngest daughter, and my husband Dave with Sam.

What makes it different from the styles of lasagna we are all used to is that there is no ricotta or mozzarella cheese- you make a cream sauce instead. I happen to love this because I never was a huge fan of ricotta cheese. The meat sauce has chutney mixed in so it has a slightly sweeter flavor that cuts the garlic and brings out more of a beef flavor. Their chutney is not like our chutney- it's made specifically to go with meat so it really enhances the flavor of dishes like this.

1 medium white onion, sliced thin
dry red wine
2lbs ground beef (they call it mince)
garlic salt
Dried Italian herbs (oregano, basil, thyme)
Mrs. Balls chutney
2 cans diced tomatoes
fresh garlic, minced
Tomato paste
ready to use lasagna noodles (they are so much easier)
Fresh Herbs- oregano, thyme, basil (if desired)

White sauce:
Butter- ½ cup melted
Soy milk
1/2 cup Flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray lasagna pan with non-stick spray.
1.Heat a large heavy pot on medium heat. DO NOT ADD OIL. There is no oil in this recipe. Once the pot is heated, add the onions.

Keep the heat on medium to low and let the onions cook and caramelize on their own. Once they start to brown, add the red wine- roughly a 1/2 cup.

2. Let the onions cook down, and then add the ground beef. I also added the minced garlic at this point as well. Cook the beef through, draining the excess fat once cooked.

3.Add the canned tomatoes, chutney (I added roughly 1/2 cup but I love chutney- you can add less if you like), dried Italian herbs, tomato paste. Let the sauce simmer on low while you make the cream sauce.

4. Melt 1/2 cup dairy free margarine in a sauce pan.

5. Add 1/2 cup flour slowly to make a roux.

6.Slowly whisk in soy milk ( unsweetened) until the sauce is the consistency you desire. I also added a few shakes of garlic salt to cut the sweetness of the soy milk.

7. Let the cream sauce come to a gentle boil, whisking constantly.

8. Once both sauces are done, build your lasagna- put a thin layer of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish, then your lasagna noodles, topped with more sauce, then the cream sauce, and lasagna noodles. Repeat for one more layer. Sprinkle fresh herbs on top.

9.Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until bubbling.

**You can get Mrs. Balls chutney either online, or at The World Market.**

While I was making this I had two little helpers in the kitchen and I just had to get a picture:

(The TJ's bag holds toys and books for Abby while she's in her highchair)

Huge thanks to Morne and Rochelle Vermeulen for sharing this recipe with us!

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