I wanted to make dinner for Berney and myself this past Sunday, so I listed a few options even though I already knew what I was going to make us. I think it’s nice to at least give your guy the pretend feeling that his opinion matters. Just kidding, of course it matters (not when we’re talking about food, though).
But because I know Berney so well, I knew he would choose the option I had already planned to make. And surprise! He did. I said lasagna, his face lit up, and all was right with the world.
I didn’t use very many noodles because, quite frankly, I like the filling part better than the pasta part. But if you like lotsa noodles, go for it. However, I felt the amount I used was completely fine. Another reason I used less pasta for this lasagna was because I only had that many in my cupboard and couldn’t bear to buy the only option of white pasta noodles when I was at the store earlier in the day. So don’t stress about the noodles – those are really just a vehicle for the filling anyway. I mean, who eats lasagna because they love the pasta layers? Not me.
Next, let’s talk about the sauce. I wanted something a little more special than the traditional tomato sauce. Adding pureed roasted red peppers gives such a unique and wonderful taste. They add a special little sweetness and turn it from plain tomato sauce to plain AMAZING sauce.
Last thing to discuss – cheese. Actually, I guess I should say “cheese” for this one. This lasagna IS vegan, therefore it obviously doesn’t have cheese in it. Instead, it has tofu ricotta, which acts very similar to regular ricotta used in traditional lasagna. You definitely won’t miss the dairy in this recipe. If you like, make a double batch of the tofu ricotta and use it on all other kinds of things. You really can’t go wrong with that stuff.
P.S. This lasagna recipe also has my Vegan High-Protein No-Oil Pesto in it. WHAT. Yum.
- Whole grain lasagna noodles (I only used 9, but you can use more if you like)
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1 recipe Vegan High-Protein No-Oil Pesto (see link in post)
- 1 pound firm tofu
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt, to taste
- 1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tablespoons water
- Prepare the pesto (you can click on the link in the above post to be taken directly to the recipe).
- Prepare the tofu ricotta. First, give the tofu a good squeeze to get as much of the liquid drained from it as you can. In a medium bowl, crumble the tofu with your hands or a large fork. Stir in the remaining ricotta ingredients. Cover and place in the fridge until needed for your lasagna assembly.
- Prepare the roasted red pepper sauce. Using a food processor or blender, puree the roasted peppers, garlic, salt and black pepper until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan, add diced tomatoes, and cook over medium heat. Once the first small bubbles begin to form, pour in the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Next, saute the onion and mushrooms until soft and the onions are translucent.
- Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to their package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and separately lay each noodle flat to prevent them from sticking to each other and tearing apart.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Assemble the lasagna. You will create two full layers of all the ingredients in a 13x9" glass baking pan. Start with a thin layer of sauce, followed by a layer of noodles, half of the pesto, half of the sauteed vegetables, and finally half of the tofu ricotta. Repeat the layering in the same order one more time. Add an extra layer of noodles and then sauce to top it all off.
- Cover lasagna with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
- To save time, you can make the pesto, tofu ricotta, and sauce a day or two ahead of time and store them in the fridge until you're ready to assemble the lasagna.