Can you believe this is the first lasagna I ever made? And I had the audacity to do it without a recipe. I think you can’t help but get crazy-good results when pasta, cheese and spaghetti sauce are involved.
Remember that I am a lazy cook so even though I made two of the cheeses in this recipe (the third is Daiya mozzeralla-style shreds), the whole recipe is easy and fail proof. I don’t like to waste time or food or money.
I made the nut-based mozzarella and the tofu-based ricotta the night before just to make Sunday morning assembly easier.
Tofu ricotta cheese
12 oz block firm tofu
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1-2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon salt
A few grinds of pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1/3 of a lemon)
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ cup raw cashews soaked for a few hours and drained (optional but lovely)
Put everything in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients are all incorporated and look like stiff paste. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender or just dig in with a fork and get mashing and blending. I’m lazy… I used the blender because it’s easier to clean!
¼ cup raw cashews soaked for about 4 hours or longer and drained
1 cup of hot water
2 ½ Tbsp tapioca flour
I Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice or cider vinegar
Put everything into a blender and blend until creamy.
Pour into a small saucepan on medium heat. Heat and stir. The mixture will start to curdle (the way scrambled eggs do) and then become thick and look like thick melted cheese. The process takes about 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool and then use in lasagnas, on pizzas or broiled on French onion soup. This mozzarella will store in the fridge for a few days. Some water may separate out of it, if you store it. Just drain that water off.
The rest of the lasagna
12 oven-ready lasagna noodles – the kind that you don’t need to boil first
2-3 cups of fresh spinach washed and chopped
1 small zucchini cut into ½ moon slices
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
2 ½ cups spaghetti sauce (honestly, I used canned)
1 cup shredded Daiya mozzarella cheese (or other shredded vegan cheese)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Okay – do not be daunted by these instructions. All you are doing is creating layers of noodles, ricotta/mozzarella, veggies and sauce. Just do that and it’s all good. My instructions are written to ensure you have enough of everything to get you to the top saucy layer!
Spread about ¼ cup spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a large ovenproof baking dish (my Pyrex dish is 16”x8”x2”).
Place a layer of 4 noodles – overlapping if necessary. Top with ½ of the tofu ricotta. I find the ricotta is thick so I dolloped it across the noodles as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the shredded spinach and sliced mushrooms on top. Spoon 1/3 of the remaining spaghetti sauce over top – again, it doesn’t have to cover the whole thing evenly. Add another layer of 4 noodles. Top with the remaining ricotta cheese mixture. Sprinkle the sliced zucchini on top. Add 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese in dollops. Spoon half of the remaining spaghetti sauce on top. Add the final layer of 4 lasagna noodles. Top with the remained spaghetti sauce as evenly as possible. Dollop the remaining mozzarella cheese on top.
Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take the lasagna out of the oven. Remove the foil and sprinkle the Daiya mozzarella cheese on top. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.
Let the lasagna rest for about 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!