I’ve been tweaking my lasagne recipe for years, as I come across new ingredient ideas. For example, the great tip to add balsamic vinegar to lasagne sauce came from the now-defunct Looneyspoons cookbook by Janet and Greta Podleski; I think it’s the balsamic vinegar that makes the sauce so awesome.
The other good piece of advice with lasagne is to let the lasagne rest for at least 10 minutes after coming out of the oven so the filling can set. I sometimes do not let it rest because I am impatient for hot, delicious lasagne, and then the filling runs out when I slice into it and it falls apart. (Said in my mom voice: so do as I say, not as I do, okay?)
I like my lasagne with broccoli, red peppers and mushrooms but you can use whichever veggies you like best. There is a lot going on in this recipe so if you like a simpler lasagne, feel free to omit the sautéed veggies or the Ground Round or the Daiya.
Tofu Ricotta and Vegetable Lasagne
1/2 to 1 pound lasagne noodles
2 cups of chopped fresh baby spinach, washed and rinsed well
1 package (16 ounces) firm tofu (not silken)
1/2 Tbsp sugar (optional)
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
2 garlic cloves, minced
Juice from 1/2 a lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil (about 20 leaves)
salt + pepper to taste
1 can of tomato sauce
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cups chopped veggies like red pepper, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms
1 package of Yves Original Veggie Ground Round (optional)
1 package of Daiya mozzarella cheese (optional)
Boil the lasagne noodles, drain and set aside. On the stove, cook the garlic cloves in a small amount of oil for a few minutes on medium heat until golden. Add spinach to the pan and cook until just wilted.
To make the ricotta, place tofu, sugar, milk, garlic, shallots, lemon juice, basil, pepper and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Add the spinach. Taste to see if you want to add more salt or pepper.
In a large fry pan, sauté vegetables until they are just cooked. Add the tomato sauce, reserving about one cup of plain tomato sauce for the top and bottom of the lasagne. Add the balsamic vinegar and let simmer a few minutes. Add the Veggie Ground Round, stir, and set veggie-tomato mixture aside.
Cover the bottom of 9 x 13-inch baking dish with a thin layer of plain tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles. Follow with half the tofu filling then the veggie-tomato mixture, then a sprinkling of Daiya, if you choose to use. The above photo is cheese-less lasagne; the photo below is lasagne with Daiya used throughout and sprinkled on top. Repeat until the top layer of lasagne noodles, and top with plain tomato sauce and a sprinkling of Daiya, then Italian seasoning.
Cover with aluminum foil and cook at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Remove the foil for the last five minutes to crisp up the top. Remove from oven and let rest for at least ten minutes for filling to set before cutting.
This dish is gluten-free if you choose rice noodles.