Vegan Tomato Vegetable Lasagne
I think this lasagne will be by far one of my most complicated posts. Not that it is difficult to make or has super fancy ingredients but because lasagnes in general have so many different layers and steps. But to be fair, this is a highly simplified version of the recipe I based this lasagne on. Its so much simpler that I don’t really think it resembles the one I started off with. Since this lasagne is 100% vegan it is much lower in fat. The lower fat content does take away from an authentic lasagne experience because lasagne is just loaded with so much fatty cheese and dairy. Personally the dairy is the reason I never liked a traditional lasagne. I would get grossed out at how fatty it tasted. Which is a little strange because I have always loved cheese. I basically grew up on cheese, at the same time though I never liked milk or cream and I think that is the reasons lasagnes never appealed to me. So, even though this lasagne does not have that normal very fatty taste it is however the only lasagne I have ever enjoyed! And I mean really really enjoyed! I love it!
I make everything from scratch including the sauce ( minus the lasagne noodles) so it does take a lot of time. Well a little longer than most of my cooking so its something that I usually put together on the weekend when I feel like being in the kitchen all day or when I have a day off from work. It lasts really well in the fridge so I make a batch that will last us for a few days. Like all lasagne you can also freeze it and pull it out when you need it.
The lasagne has a really yummy ricotta cheese layer that tastes just like the real thing. Its light and fluffy and you can use it on any dish you would use normal ricotta on. I will probably add a seperate post for the ricotta soon in the basics section because it really is that good! I served it in some stuffed cocktail tomatoes at our house warming party. We have a lot of vegetarian friends but none of them are vegan. No body could tell the difference. I was quite nervous about it because people are very turned off by tofu. I actually didn’t say a word and hoped for the best. Everyone enjoyed them and not a single person told me it tasted strange.
I also use wholemeal spelt dry lasagne noodles which of course mean that the lasagne can turn out a little more dry. I don’t mind that at all, but you can use any noodles you prefer. This was a very difficult recipe to write since it has so many steps. I have tried to make it as clear cut as possible, but if there us anything you are confused about, leave me a comment below and I will try answer your questions.
The recipe is inspired by bolognese lasagne from Chloe Cascarelli’s book “Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen”
|Vegan Tomato Vegetable Lasagne|| |
- Dry, no boil Lasagne noodles. I use whole meal spelt variety but use any noodle you like
- SAUCE LAYER:
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 large carrot grated
- 1 cup finally chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp mixed Italian herbs
- 1 can crushed tomatoes or passata sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup non dairy milk (I use soy or almond)
- 1 TBSP coconut sugar
- RICOTTA CHEESE LAYER:
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 packet organic firm tofu
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp sea salt
- big pinch of pepper
- 1 cup fresh basil
- MUSHROOM LAYER:
- 12 button mushrooms
- 1 tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- EGGPLANT LAYER:
- 1 eggplant thinly sliced
- pinch of salt
- drizzle of olive oil
- FOR THE SAUCE: heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion carrot and celery and saute until vegetables are soft and lightly browned. Add garlic, Italian herbs and salt and pepper and cook a few more minutes. Add tomatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered with a lid for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in non dairy milk and coconut sugar.
- FOR THE RICOTTA CHEESE: lightly fry your onion and garlic in a little olive oil. Add your tofu to a food processor with the basil, lemon juice and salt. Add the cooked onion and garlic and pulse a few times until the mixture comes together. You want it to have a ricotta texture so do not over do it so that it becomes a paste.
- FOR THE EGGPLANT: thinly slice your eggplant lengthways and season with a little olive oil and salt. Grill on a wire rack in your oven for about 10 minutes and set aside
- FOR THE MUSHROOMS: in your food processor pulse your mushrooms until they are finely chopped and resemble mince. These will replace your mince. Season with the salt, pepper, dry basil and paprika. Fry the mushrooms in a little oil for a few minutes until they have reduced
- ASSEMBLY: sauce - 4 noodles - sauce - half mushroom mixture - eggplant slices - ½ ricotta mixture - 4 noodles - sauce - remaining mushroom mixture - 4 noodles - remaining ricotta mixture - 4 noodles - Top with remaining sauce - Sprinkle with a little nutritional yeast ( optional)
- Cover with aluminium foil and bake at 200 C for 45 minutes.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving