Rich, Tasty, Creamy, Yummy Lasagna
This really is rich, tasty, creamy and yummy. Does it taste like your grandmother’s lasagna? Nope, but it’s close…very close…and so much lighter and healthier for you…not that Nonna was trying to kill you, but now that we know better, we can do better.
Makes 8-10 servings
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
3-4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
Generous pinch dried oregano
1, 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 large cans diced tomatoes, do not drain juices
1 carrot, left whole
2 bay leaves
3-4 sprigs fresh basil, leaves removed
Cracked black pepper
1 pound uncooked lasagna noodles (eggless)
1 pound extra firm tofu, coarsely crumbled
3 sprigs fresh basil, leaves removed and minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 package vegan mozzarella substitute, grated
Prepare the tomato sauce. Place a small amount of oil, onion and garlic in a soup pot over medium heat. When the onions begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste, 2 cans of water (tomato paste can) and stir until smooth. Add tomatoes, a light seasoning of salt, carrot and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook, covered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove carrot and bay leaves; season taste with salt and pepper; stir in basil and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes more.
While the sauce cooks, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook lasagna noodles until about 80% done, 8-9 minutes. Drain and rinse noodles and place them back in the pasta cooking pot submerged in cold water.
Preheat oven to 400o.
Crumble tofu in a mixing bowl and mix in basil, oil and sea salt to taste. Mix well with your hands to create a ricotta cheese-like texture.
Assemble lasagna by spooning a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Lay noodles flat on top of the sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Cover with 1/3 of the tofu mixture, a sprinkling of cheese, sauce to cover and another layer of noodles. Cover with another 1/3 of the tofu mixture, a sprinkling of cheese, sauce to cover and another layer of noodles. Create one more layer with the remaining tofu, a sprinkling of cheese and noodles to cover. Spoon sauce generously over top the lasagna and sprinkle with cheese to cover, allowing sauce to peek through. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and return to oven for another 25 minutes, until the edges have browned lightly. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes before cutting into wedges.
Cook’s Tip: You can purchase jarred tomato sauce for this recipe to save time and work but be sure to read the labels to ensure you are getting what you want…and not getting what you don’t.