Tempeh Lasagne with Cashew Cream Sauce

We both love lasagne, and this is definitively one of our favorite ways to fill those pasta sheets. Fried tempeh crumbs, basil tomato sauce, and white sauce made with cashews and nutritional yeast were a delicious combination in this creamy and hearty and remarkably satisfying lasagne.

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Our lasagne wasn’t extremely photogenic, but the side of steamed broccoli added a hint of aesthetic value – and also balanced the rich lasagne quite nicely.

Tomato Tempeh Sauce:

  • 5 dl tomato sauce (passata type)
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 200 g tempeh
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

First, we prepared the tempeh. We chopped it finely, until we had nice crumbles.

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Now, we heated a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan, and fried the temped crumbles for about 7 minutes, until they’d turned golden brown. Then Heikki added the soy sauce and the liquid smoke to the pan, and fried the tempeh until the liquid had evaporated, for a few more minutes.

I removed the tempeh from the pan, added a little more oil, and fried the onions until they became translucent. Now I added the dried basil, fried it for a few seconds, and then added the rest of the tomato sauce ingredients to the pan. I let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes, until the cashew sauce was ready, and then mixed in the tempeh crumbles.

Cashew Cream Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 1/2 dl wheat flour
  • 2 dl cashew nuts & 1 dl oat milk
  • 9 dl plain oat milk
  • 1 dl nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon green peppercorns, ground
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

While Heikki ground the cashews with 1 dl of oat milk to create a thick cream, I melted the margarine in a small cooking pan on medium heat. When it started to bubble, I added the wheat flour, whisking all the time, and kept on whisking and frying the flour for a few minutes. Now, I added the rest of the oat milk a little by little, whisking to get it smoothly incorporated, and brought the mixture to boil on medium-high heat, stirring all the time. After the mixture had thickened a little, I whisked in the nutritional yeast and the cashew cream, and heated for a few minutes. Now the sauce was quite thick, and I added the rest of the ingredients – salt, green peppercorns, and lemon juice.

Assembling the Lasagne:

  • 250 g (half a box) spinach lasagne sheets (Pirkka brand)

We first brushed our lasagne pan with olive oil, and spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce over the bottom of the pan. We covered the sauce with 4 lasagne sheets, and spread some more tomato sauce over the pasta. Now, we spooned about one fifth of the cashew sauce over the tomato layer, and then added three more layers of pasta covered with the two sauces. We reserved a little more cashew sauce for the last layer, and spread it evenly over the whole lasagne. We ended up with 4 layers of pasta, a layer of tomato-tempeh sauce underneath, and a layer of the creamy cashew sauce upmost.

Now we baked the lasagne in 200 degrees Celsius for about 35 minutes, until the white sauce had browned nicely, and let it cool down for about 10 minutes before serving.

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