Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
I call this a “knockout” lasagne as it is so delicious, but very easy to make, and generally popular with everyone, vegans and omnivores alike. You can no doubt find other more fancy lasagne recipes, but you are unlikely to find one which is as tasty and uncomplicated as this one. That’s a definite win-win from my point of view, as I love to eat well, but without spending exhausting hours in the kitchen rustling up a meal. This recipe uses tofu in place of the béchamel sauce, which works very well here with the other ingredients. I also usually add a pinch of nutmeg to this (not traditional for lasagnas, admittedly), which really helps to bring out the flavour of the spinach. This recipe also uses pasta sauce from a jar, which definitely cuts down the preparation time, but you can, of course, make your own sauce, from tomatoes, herbs, garlic, etc, which would probably make it even more lovely.
Ingredients (Serves around 9)
½ pound of fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of chopped garlic
2 24-oz jars of pasta sauce (i.e. a tomato and herb one)
9 uncooked lasagne sheets (regular lasagne, *not* the no-boil ones)
Sliced black olives to top (optional)
Vegan parmesan to top (optional)
10 oz of chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 pound of firm/extra firm tofu (*not* the silken kind)
1 teaspoon of salt (or salt to taste)
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (for a cheesy flavour)
1½ teaspoons of dried oregano
½ teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of dried basil
½ teaspoon of crushed rosemary
½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
1) Sauté the garlic and mushrooms over a medium heat in the olive oil until they are tender (you may need to cover them while doing this, to prevent them from drying out). Remove from the heat and add the pasta sauce.
2) Put your tofu and thawed spinach in a blender/food-processor and give it a quick whizz to mix it. Then add the rest of the ingredients for the filling to this, and process until it is smooth (You can do it without a food processor by putting the tofu in a large mixing bowl and pounding with a potato-masher until mushy, then adding the remaining ingredients and mixing well).
3) Preheat the oven to 375º F (about 190º C).
4) Take a 9”x 12” square oven dish and spread half of the sauce in the bottom of it. Place a layer of the lasagne sheets over this, using 3 dry sheets and leaving a little space in between them. Spread around half of the tofu/spinach mixture on the pasta sheets (drop it by spoonfuls and then spread it out with a wooden spoon or spatula). Cover this with another layer of lasagne sheets, and then spread the rest of the tofu mix over the top of this. Top with a final layer of pasta sheets, and then pour the rest of the pasta sauce over this.
5) Cover the dish tightly with aluminium foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes. At this point, once the foil is removed, you can top with the olives and vegan parmesan, if you are using these, before it goes back in the oven.
6) When it is done, remove from the oven and let stand and cool for around 15 minutes before serving (it will cut better when serving, if you do this). Sprinkle with some fresh basil and serve with a green salad and garlic bread. It’s pasta heaven!!
Picture courtesy of www.fatfreevegan.com