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Puy Lentil, Roasted Garlic, Mushroom and Pancetta Lasagne

With Allyson Gofton

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 very easy  and stylish lasagne, which while easy to make does take a little longer to cook!

Serves 6

600 grams large flat mushrooms
2 bulbs roasted garlic, see tips
150 grams pancetta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups puy lentils
4 cups beef stock
10-12 dried lasagne sheets
250-350 grams firm-style mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease an 8 cup-capacity, oven-proof, lasagne-style dish.
Cut one large mushroom into thin slices and set aside - these are for the top. 
Chop the remaining mushrooms evenly.
Cut the garlic bulbs in half horizontally and squeeze out every bit of the cooked paste.
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 the pan, leaving any fat from the pancetta in the pan too, and cook the diced mushrooms and garlic until the mushrooms are well-softened.
Stir in the lentils and beef stock and cover, 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.
Into the prepared dish spoon 1/3rd of the lentils and then cover with a layer of pasta.
Using a thin-bladed knife or cheese peeler, peel the mozzarella into the thinnest possible slices and use 1/3rd to layer on top of the pasta.
Repeat these layers finishing with a layer of cheese. Sit the sliced mushrooms on top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until hot and golden.
Serve immediately garnished with the remaining pancetta, and accompanied with a fresh tomato salad or baked tomatoes and crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Allyson's tips
To ensure I always have roasted garlic bulbs at hand, I bake them, squeeze out the pulp and freeze it in ice cubes before transferring to a lidded container.
The dried lasagne sheets used here are approximately 8cm x 15cm.

(Broadcast 17 October 2012)