Oven Temperature: 220ºC/435ºF/Gas 7
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
2 medium/large potatoes
Olive oil (not virgin) or vegetable oil
Tomato and Lentil Sauce
175g (6oz) puy lentils (or any green lentils)
1 clove of garlic
1 tin of tomatoes
A squirt of tomato puree
250ml water (about 9 fl oz)
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of oregano
Pinch of thyme
Two teaspoons of vecon stock paste (or a stock cube)
50g (2oz) margarine
50g (2 oz) plain flour
568ml soya milk (1 pint!)
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of vecon, half a stock cube or a pinch of salt
100g vegan cheese (optional)
1) Rinse the lentils. Put them in a saucepan, cover with cold water and boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Then simmer for about 25 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, slice the potatoes quite finely. You don’t need to peel them, just wash them first. Put the slices in a saucepan and simmer them in boiling water for about 5 or 10 minutes so that they are partially cooked.
3) Chop the onion and garlic while you’re waiting.
4) When the potatoes are done, arrange the slices in the bottom of an oven proof dish. You can use the potato-boiling pan to make the sauce in.
5) Fry the chopped onion gently in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil until softened. Add the tin of tomatoes, tomato puree, 250ml of water, vecon/stock cube, cinnamon, herbs and the drained lentils, which should be cooked by now.
6) Simmer the lentil sauce for about 10 minutes, then pour it over the potato slices in the ovenproof dish.
7) Slice the aubergine quite finely and fry the slices on both sides in a few tablespoons of olive oil until they are lightly browned. They absorb a lot of oil, so drain the slices on kitchen roll before arranging them on top of the lentil mixture in the dish.
8) To make the white sauce, melt the margarine in a pan. Stir in the flour and cook for a few minutes, being careful not to let it brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the soya milk – VERY gradually, stirring in the milk all the time so that it doesn’t go lumpy. Bring back to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add the nutmeg, pepper and about 1/2 a teaspoon of vecon, or half of a stock cube, or a pinch of salt. Stir in the grated vegan cheese if you are using it.
9) Pour the white sauce over the top, and cook for about 30 minutes at 220ºC/435ºF until the top has browned.