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Killer Lasagna

What you need: 

Marinara Sauce:
11 medium sized tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
2 large garlic cloves, minced
olive oil, as needed
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
2-4 tablespoons tomato paste Lasagna:
12-15 whole grain lasagna noodles (to fit pan)
2-3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4"
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup plain nondairy milk, warmed (I use rice milk)
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2-1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese, divided (I use Daiya) Basil Ricotta:
1 pound firm tofu, drained
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped and loosely packed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup nutritional yeast

What you do: 

1. For marinara, slice an X on the bottom of each tomato, and blanch for 2-3 minutes in boiling water, immediately submerging in ice water after. The skins will fall right off. Crush the blanched tomatoes, and mix with sugar. Saute garlic in olive oil, then add oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the crushed tomatoes and enough tomato paste to make it thick to your liking.
2. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water, then let sit in an ice cold bath until you're ready to use them. This will keep them from being sticky and falling apart everywhere. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss zucchini with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and fresh black pepper. Arrange zucchini in single layer on a large cookie sheet and bake, turning once halfway through, for about 12 minutes.
3. While the zucchini is baking, heat a skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and the crushed red pepper, cooking until garlic is golden. Stir in flour, then whisk in warm milk gradually, until blended. Stir constantly until sauce has thickened and boils, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in spinach, nutritional yeast, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, until well combined.
4. For ricotta, in a large bowl crumble the tofu for a minute or so, until it looks like ricotta. Stir in the garlic, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, basil leaves, olive oil, and nutritional yeast. Blend with fingers or fork until thoroughly combined. Turn oven to 350 degrees F, drain noodles, delicately dry on clean kitchen towels. In 13X9" baking dish, spread about 1 cup (or a bit more) marinara sauce. Arrange 4-5 lasagna noodles, slightly overlapping.
5. Spread ricotta mixture on top of noodles, and arrange 4-5 more noodles on top. Spread all the zucchini on top of noodles, pour 1 cup (or more) sauce on top, then sprinkle with 1/2 the mozzarella. Top off with spinach mixture. Arrange remaining 4-5 lasagna noodles, the rest of the marinara sauce, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
6. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake uncovered until cheese is all melty, about 10 minutes. You might want to put in the broiler for the last few minutes! Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving, up to 25 minutes, and it should still be warm.
It will hold together better if you wait! Slice and serve with some good homemade Italian bread and a vegan Caesar salad. Awesome! This is good with mushrooms, too. I think some sliced olives would also go well here! The typical non-vegan lasagna has that browned cheese look, and this one is just mostly red. Don't let that fool you though, it's delicious! The layers look nice.
I served it to my omnivore brother, mother, and dad, and they had seconds and thirds. My brother said that it tasted like, "real" lasagna, not like it was just trying to be lasagna. I think that has a lot to do with the tofu-ricotta and the sprinkling of Daiya! I think adding some tempeh sausage crumbles to this would be very good too, for something different!
I hope this turns out as well for you as it did for me! It's kind of labor intensive, but if you have the time, it just might be the best lasagna you've ever had! It was for me! Grab a buddy, and make it together.
Source of recipe: This recipe is a veganized, slightly modified version of a vegetable lasagna recipe I got from The Good Housekeeping Cookbook. The basil-ricotta and marinara are inspired from Isa's Vegan with a Vengeance.

Preparation Time: 
1 hour, Cooking time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 
40 minutes
Servings: 
16
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

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