Preheat oven to 350 F/ 175 C.
Cook brown rice in 2 cups veggie broth in a pot over the stove, watching to make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat once all the broth is absorbed. The rice will be very al dente when done but you don’t want it fully cooked so that it doesn’t get mushy when adding it to the final dish.
Boil cauliflower until very soft. Once soft, strain and add it along with all other cream sauce ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. You can use a regular blender, but may need to mix it a while to get a smooth consistency. Set sauce aside.
Chop onion and sauté in veggie broth or olive oil in a sauté pan until slightly cooked.
Add lentils and sauté until onions become soft. Add more veggie broth if it gets too dry.
Add tomatoes and parsley to the pan.
Sauté for a few minutes, then add wine, salt and pepper. Add rice and continue to cook until lentils begin to get soft and rice softens a little. You do not want it to get overly cooked.
Once done, pour into a bowl and use an immersion blender to pulse mixture until chunky but not mushy. You want pieces of rice and lentils and not a paste. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can pour the sauce into a food processor to chop, but be careful with the sauce being too hot.
In a bowl, mix half of the pasta with 1 cup of the “meat” sauce and ½ cup of the cream sauce. Place on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.
Then spread remaining “meat” sauce evenly over the pasta. The sauce makes quite a bit so if it seems to be too much for you, you can leave some out and use it as a pasta sauce at a later time. It also freezes well.
Mix the other half of the pasta with 1 cup of the cream sauce and place over “meat” sauce layer.
Pour the remaining cream sauce over the top and spread evenly. Top with Parmesan if using.
Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let cool and set before cutting and serving for best results.
Tips to prep ahead: