Nothing is better on a cool, crisp fall day than a big pan of lasagna, and this recipe has become “the” veggie lasagna recipe for me…and I’ve tried many! It’s adapted from the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook “Vegan for Everybody” and while there are a few steps, the result is well worth it. My version is a bit different in that I’ve simplified the veggie steps (throw them all in one pan and roast – simple!), but added some extra seasoning to the cashew/cauliflower ricotta, (based on a recipe by simple-veganista.com). You can also use your favourite jarred sauce or follow the recipe – I’ve done both with equal success. Just keep in mind you need about 4 cups of sauce. For this recipe, I had the can of crushed tomatoes and just added a jar of homemade sauce and it turned out great. You can also change up the veggies – I had no eggplant, so just added extra mushrooms and zucchini.
For the Tomato Sauce:
- 1(28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon organic sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
For the cashew ricotta filling:
- 8 ounces cauliflower florets, cut into ½-inch pieces (21/4 cups)
- 11/2 cups raw cashews, chopped
- Salt and peppers
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 – 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Vegetables:
- 1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 pound white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
- 1 pound zucchini, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
For the Lasagna:
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
- Fresh basil
- For the tomato sauce: Process tomatoes, basil, oil, garlic, sugar, salt and red pepper flakes in food processor until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 30 seconds. Transfer sauce to a bowl and set aside. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.)
- For the filling: Bring 3 quarts water to boil in a large saucepan. Add cauliflower florets, cashews, and 2 teaspoons salt and cook until cauliflower is very soft and falls apart easily when poked with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain cauliflower mixture in a colander and let cool slightly about 5 minutes.
- Process cauliflower mixture, 3 Tablespoons oil, ¼ cup water and remaining ingredients in clean, dry food processor until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 2 minutes (mixture will be slightly grainy). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer ¼ cup mixture to bowl and stir in remaining 1 Tablespoon oil and basil; set aside for topping. (Mixtures can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
- For the vegetables: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss vegetables with 2 Tablespoons oil, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt in a bowl, then spread on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until beginning to wilt, about 15 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and set aside.
- For the lasagne: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Spread 11/3 cups tomato sauce over the bottom of the of the dish. Arrange 4 noodles on top. Spread half the cauliflower filling over noodles, followed by half of the vegetables. Spread 11/3 cups tomato sauce over vegetables. Repeat layering with 4 noodles, remaining cauliflower filling, and remaining vegetables. Arrange remaining 4 noodles on top, and cover completely with remaining tomato sauce.
- Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake until edges are bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes, rotating dish halfway through baking. Dollop lasagne evenly with 8 to 10 spoonfuls of reserved cauliflower topping, and let cool for 25 minutes. Top with fresh basil.
Lynne Bereza is a freelance communications specialist and occasional blogger in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Her vegetarian journey began in 2016 and she transitioned to a completely plant-based diet in 2017. When not working Lynne enjoys yoga, trying new vegan recipes, gardening, and spending time with her family. You can find her at www.breezecommunications.ca.