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Puy lentil, roasted garlic, mushroom and pancetta lasagne

  • 20 minutes
  • 1½ hours
  • 6
Puy lentil, roasted garlic, mushroom and pancetta lasagne

Earthy though delicate, chewy yet tender, moss green-brown Puy lentils are more often served as part of a meal, due really because of their cost, but cooked with garlic - mellowed from roasting, salty pancetta, and dense meaty flat mushrooms, a small amount of these cult-status lentils are stretched to make a sensational sauce for a very easy and stylish lasagne, which while easy to make does take a little longer to cook!


  • 600 grams large flat mushrooms
  • 2 bulbs roasted garlic (see method)
  • 150 grams panceta
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1½ cups Puy or brown lentils
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 10-12 dried lasagne sheets
  • 250-350 grams firm-style mozzarella


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease an 8-cup capacity ovenproof lasagne-style dish.
  2. Cut one large mushroom into thin slices and set aside to use later for the top. Chop the remaining mushrooms evenly. Cut the garlic bulbs in half horizontally and squeeze out every skerrick of cooked paste.
  3. Heat a large lidded frying-pan and cook the pancetta slices until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate and crumble. Set aside. Add the olive oil to any fat remaining from the pancetta in the pan and cook the diced mushrooms and garlic until the mushrooms are well softened.
  4. Stir in the lentils and beef stock. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring regularly until the lentils are tender. The mix should not be dry, but sauce-like. Stir in most of the pancetta and season with salt and pepper, if wished.
  5. Into the prepared dish, spoon one-third of the lentils and then cover with a layer of pasta. Using a thin-bladed knife or cheese peeler, cut the mozzarella into the thinnest possible slices and layer one-third of it on top of the pasta. Repeat layers, finishing with a layer of cheese. Sit the reserved sliced mushrooms on top.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until hot and golden. Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining pancetta, accompanied with a fresh tomato salad or baked tomatoes and crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Roasted garlic bulbs

  1. Drizzle garlic bulbs with oil, wrap securely in foil and bake at 180ºC for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer can be inserted easily into the centre of the bulb. Keep in an airtight ceramic dish in the refrigerator (avoid using plastic dishes, the flavour permeates through the plastic).

Cooks Tips

- To ensure I always have roasted garlic bulbs at hand for the times when I want that mellow roasted garlic flavour, I bake a number of bulbs wrapped in foil in advance. I then squeeze out the pulp and freeze it in ice-cube containers before transferring the cubes to a lidded container.

- The dried lasagne sheets used in the recipe measure approximately 8 x 15 cm.

- The amount of beef stock required here will depend on the lentils, which may require more liquid. Use water if you do not have any more beef stock.

- Brown lentils will make a very acceptable substitute for Puy lentils, though cooking time may be a little less.

- Do not use red lentils as these will turn to mush.

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