Come to Mama Vegan Lasagna

Delayed gratification that can last you for days.

Today’s recipe title may make some of you think immediately of Lady Gaga, but Etta James recorded a much dirtier song by that name back when gaga was probably all the Lady had in her vocabulary.

Call my number, 777-six-NINE-six-NINE,

I’ll give you a fix.

‘Cause I’ve got your favorite toy,

Guaranteed to bring you joy.

Come to Mama.

And I don’t know about you, but for me few dishes feel more nurturing and evocative of maternal labors of culinary love than a hearty lasagna. So satisfy your favorite hungry baby with this mother! They’ll be coming back to you for more… and you’ll have it. While this is a fairly labor-intensive recipe to make from scratch, the payoff is days of fast, delicious and freezer-friendly meals (if you’re not having a dinner party or contributing to a potluck).

To do ahead: Make the marinara, parmesan & ricotta. Roast the veggies.

To do on the spot: Béchamel sauce & assembly

For the Tofu Ricotta

  • 1 16-oz. package water-packed firm tofu, excess water squeezed out (use a press or the weighted/towel method)
  • 1 pkg (around 12 oz.) silken tofu
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (may be 1-2 lemons)
  • 1 cup cooked chopped spinach, extra moisture squeezed out (can use 10-12 oz. frozen)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup almond or other plant milk
  • 1 T mellow white miso
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 1/2 T oregano
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine everything but the spinach and basil in a food processor and process until smooth. You can also use a blender if you pulse it and keep scraping down the sides. If neither is available, a large fork or even your hands will do, so long as you crumble the tofu very fine. Mix in the leafy stuff last and combine well. You can refrigerate this until it’s ready to use.

For the Béchamel

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T all purpose or gluten free flour
  • 1 cup almond or other plant milk
  • 1/4 cup Nut Cheese Topping, put through a sieve to remove any chunks

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and then whisk in the flour with a splash of the milk to start a roux, dissolving any lumps. As the mixture heats stir in more milk gradually, then stir in the cheese topping. Continue to heat to a near-boil as the mixture thickens. It can bubble a little. Remove from heat and use to top off the lasagna.

For the Rest

  • 1 10-oz pkg no-boil lasagna noodles (I used gluten-free spinach ones)
  • Double batch of Sassy Tomato Marinara made with plain crushed tomatoes (I found the fire roasted variety too acidic for this), or 2 jars of your favorite tomato basil sauce
  • 1 medium eggplant, stemmed and sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, cubed
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, quartered

Roasting the veggies: Salt-treat the eggplant first to get rid of any bitterness by cutting it in 1″ slices and liberally salting the exposed areas. In the meantime combine the olive oil, balsamic and garlic in a small bowl and let the garlic infuse the liquid. After the eggplant slices have sat for about 30 minutes and “sweated” out a lot of liquid, rinse off the salt and chop the eggplant up like the zucchini. Preheat the oven to 400. Lay the vegetables out on parchment paper on a baking sheet and brush/toss them thoroughly with the balsamic dressing, leaving out the garlic, and roast for 30-40 minutes or until tender.

Lower (or preheat) the oven to 350. Use a cup of the tomato sauce to coat the bottom of a 9 X 13″ pan, then place a layer of noodles over it, typically three across (they’ll expand), using the broken noodles in the box to make up for the inevitable shortfall on the ends. You probably won’t use them all. Spread half the ricotta mixture over the noodles.

Mix the roasted vegetables into the remainder of the tomato sauce and then spread half the remaining sauce on top of the ricotta. Lay down another layer of noodles, then the rest of the ricotta, then the rest of the tomato sauce. Spoon/drizzle the bechamel sauce all over the top – it can mix a little with the tomato, and there can be gaps. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 30 minutes to brown the top. Rest for at least 15 minutes to let it cool and set before cutting. Garnish with an extra sprinkle of nut cheese if you like.

I wrap servings in individual foil packets for the freezer since I use the oven to heat them; they can last for a couple of weeks frozen. Refrigerated they should keep for a few days.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. mirandagualtieri says:

    OMG looks and sounds incredible!!
    Mama!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I could do with a bite of this amazing lasagna right now… cravings! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

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