Not everyone got to grow up eating Nannie’s lasagna and ravioli, but I did and loved it! So when I decided to tackle the idea of a vegan lasagna that would taste as good as I remember, I had to mix and match a bit and create a new recipe. I am not a big fan of processed “fake cheese or meats” so tofu makes this dish a healthier alternative.
Begin by heating your oven to 375 degrees
If you are using sauce or “gravy” (as we grew up calling it) from a jar, skip ahead to the Noodles section. For a slightly spicy homemade vodka-tomato sauce see below. You may want to double the sauce recipe so you have extra for serving on top of the lasagna.
Vodka Tomato Sauce
2 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
handful of fresh chopped basil
In a big saucepan, saute the garlic and red pepper in the olive oil for a few minutes until garlic begins to brown. Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT the basil and simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and put sauce in a blender or use an immersion blender until smooth. Add basil and stir. Recipe from Veganomicon
You will need lasagna noodles of course. Just boil them with a little olive oil in the water until al dente. While the noodles boil, mix up the “tofu ricotta”.
2 packages extra firm tofu
4 tsp lemon juice
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
pinch ground black pepper
handful of fresh basil (chopped finely)
1Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
Crush up the tofu with a wooden spoon or hands until broken up. Add the lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and basil and mush until soft like ricotta cheese. Stir in the olive oil, nutritional yeast and bread crumbs until slightly sticky. You can cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
In a 13×9 baking dish, pour some of the sauce into the bottom in a thin layer. Add a layer of noodles and a layer of tofu ricotta and a layer of sauce. Repeat until you have 3-4 layers. Pour remaining sauce onto top and cover with foil and bake for 20-25 min. Uncover and cook another 15-20 min until edges of noodles are slightly browned .
marinated roasted egglplant: In addition to the tofu ricotta, you can add layers of eggplant. Remove skin and slice eggplant length-wise into long thin slices. Layer in a dish or pan and cover with a marinade of 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp basil, pinch of pepper and salt, 1-2 cloves crushed garlic. Marinate in refrigerator for 1-4 hours. Roast on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees until eggplant begins to brown.
spinach: steamed or raw fresh spinach, toss with 1 tsp olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper. Add layers of spinach on the tofu ricotta or mix in with the tofu ricotta before hand.