I’ve not vegan, in fact, I love a good, traditional, cheesy lasagne from time to time. But I’m not always in the mood for a cheese fest.
Last night I craved the warming, comfort of a layered, baked pasta dish, but I also wanted something wholesome, nourishing and clean. Something that would leave me satisfied, but not overfull. I was also feeling extremely tired and unable to concentrate on real work, so I put my mind to vegan lasagne instead.
There are a hundred different ways you could do this lasagne, but the the key ingredient comes down to the tofu filling that works as a ricotta substitute.
The tofu gets pureed in a food processor, which turns it into a consistency not unlike ricotta. Add a few herbs, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and a good pinch of salt, and I swear you have something good enough to eat with a spoon.
Sure, you could just crumble tofu into the lasagne, and though it would be easier, it wouldn’t be as tasty.
The rest is up to you. Last night I added sauteed mushrooms and grilled zucchini and eggplant. Next time, I’m going all eggplant, for a sort eggplant parmesan effect. Broccoli is also delicious is lasagne.
For the sauce, I use Jeff Varasano’s pizza sauce technique, which is as simple as straining some tinned tomatoes, giving them a quick blend, then adding a pinch of salt, sugar, minced garlic and maybe some dried italian herbs. No cooking. Easy.
To finish the lasagne, I topped mine with toasted, crushed walnuts. But I reckon bread crumbs or pine nuts would also work a treat.