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Thursday 20 February 2014

Sluttishly Vegetarian: Kale and Mushroom Open Lasagne

It's time we embraced the open lasagne. All the joy of lasagne (and goodness knows, that's a whole lot of layered joy), but there's no waiting around for an hour and a half while it bakes in the oven.

This recipe has a creamy mushroom, chestnut and kale filling. It's also topped with a walnut dukkah which is a lovely mix of toasted nuts, sesame seeds and spices. Dukkah originates from Egypt and translates from the Arabic word 'to pound'. You see it used a lot in the Middle Eastern cooking. You can vary which nuts, herbs and spices to use, there are no set rules. It changes a dish from very good to very good topped with excellence.

Kale, Chestnut & Mushroom Open Lasagne with Walnut Dukkah (serves 2)
You will need: 
  • 6 dried pasta sheets 
  • 4 cooked chestnuts (use the ones in a vacuum pack, they're readily available in the pulses bit of most supermarkets) 
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced 
  • 180g curly kale, washed and shredded 
  • 2 spring onions, roughly chopped 
  • 300g button mushrooms, quartered 
  • 200ml single cream 
For the walnut dukkah:
  • 10g walnuts 
  • 10g sesame seeds 
  • 1 tsp ground coriander 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 

Make it!
  1. Boil a big pan of salty water for your kale. Set the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas4. 
  2. Heat a frying pan (medium heat) with drizzle of olive oil. When hot, throw in your mushrooms with a pinch of salt. 
  3. Cook the mushrooms for a few minutes then add the spring onions and garlic. Turn the heat down to medium/low. Cook for a further few minutes. Add the shredded kale to your pan of boiling water and blanch for about 3 minutes only, just to soften it a little. Crumble in the cooked chestnuts.
  4. Using a slotted spoon or kitchen tongs, transfer the cooked kale to the mushrooms, reserving the boiling water.Add the dried pasta sheets to the kale water, and boil for 10 minutes (or until al dente). 
  5. Place the walnuts and sesame seeds onto a baking dish and roast them in the oven for 8­-10 minutes. Add the cream to the mushrooms, season with salt and black pepper. Keep the filling on a low heat. 
  6. When the pasta sheets are cooked, drain them and leave them to cool in a colander. Remove the nuts from the oven, and add the ground cumin and coriander to the same dish. Return the dish to the oven for a final minute, just to toast the spices a little. 
  7. Blitz the nuts in a food processor until you get a sandy, nutty rubble, then season the mix. To serve, place a pasta sheet on each plate and spoon some mushroom mixture over. Place another pasta sheet on top and finish with the remaining mixture. Sprinkle the walnut dukkah over the top and get eating.


  1. I never EVER make lasagne because I'm far too lazy for all of that layering. I'm totally doing this tonight.

  2. I swear I haven't made lasagne for about 10 years for this reason alone. Let me know how you get on with the cheats method...


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