vegan lasagne with tofu and zucchini

http://calgaryavansino.com/recipes/vegan-lasagne-tofu-zucchini/

  • Serves

    makes 8 servings

  • Preparation Time

    10-15 minutes

  • Cooking Time

    25-30 minutes

Ingredients

    For the tofu sauce:

    • 4 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 onion, roughly chopped
    • 1 carrot, finely chopped
    • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 4 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
    • 5 tbsp tomato purée
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 700g firm tofu, excess moisture removed and crumbled
    • pinch of cayenne pepper
    • 1 large handful of basil leaves, chopped
    • 1 large handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
    • salt and pepper, to season

    For the lasagne:

    • 3 large courgettes
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 800g fresh (or frozen, thawed and drained) spinach
    • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
    • 200g dried, no pre-cook lasagne sheets
    • 200g mozzarella, torn or 100g Parmesan, grated (optional - not dairy-free/vegan)

      For the tofu sauce:

      • 4 tbsp olive oil
      • 1 onion, roughly chopped
      • 1 carrot, finely chopped
      • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
      • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
      • 8 cups chopped tomatoes
      • 5 tbsp tomato purée
      • 2 bay leaves
      • 5 cups firm tofu, excess moisture removed and crumbled
      • pinch of cayenne pepper
      • 1 large handful of basil leaves, chopped
      • 1 large handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
      • salt and pepper, to season

      For the lasagne:

      • 3 large courgettes
      • 2 tbsp olive oil
      • 32 cups fresh (or frozen, thawed and drained) spinach
      • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
      • 200g dried, no pre-cook lasagne sheets
      • 1 and 1/2 cups mozzarella, torn or 1 and 1/3 cups Parmesan, grated (optional)
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      I love the comfort of baked pasta dishes so I wanted to create a lasagne that was oozing with plant-based goodness but still made me feel all fuzzy inside. If you aren’t vegan, you can add shredded mozzarella and a vegetarian equivalent of Parmesan cheese to each layer.

      To make the sauce, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add the chopped onion, carrot, celery and garlic and sauté for around 10 minutes or until soft. Then add the tomatoes, tomato purée and bay leaves. Stir well, turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

      Meanwhile, pat the tofu with kitchen roll to remove excess moisture. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and then crumble in the tofu. Cook for 5–7 minutes, until the excess water from the tofu has evaporated and the tofu and the pan appear dry. Stir in the cayenne pepper and remove from the heat.

      Once the tomato sauce has cooked and reduced, remove from the heat and stir in the tofu. Stir well to combine and leave the tofu to infuse in the tomato sauce while you prepare the courgettes.

      Cut each courgette lengthwise into 0.5cm slices. Heat a griddle pan over a medium heat, lightly brush the courgette slices with the oil and griddle them in batches so you achieve nice char marks and the courgettes are tender. As they cook, remove them to a large plate. Season lightly with salt and pepper and repeat to cook the remainder.

      If you are using fresh spinach, place half in a large colander, sit the colander in the sink and boil a kettle of water. Pour the boiling water over the spinach; this will cook the spinach so it wilts. Refresh with cold water, then squeeze out the excess water and place in a sieve while you repeat with the remaining spinach. Once all cooked, give it a final squeeze to extract any excess water still remaining, then place on a chopping board and chop well. Season with salt and nutmeg.

      Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Remove the bay leaves from your tomato sauce and add the chopped basil and parsley. Season to taste.

      To assemble the lasagne, spread one ladle of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 23 x 33cm baking dish. Arrange a single layer of lasagne sheets on top, followed by a third of the wilted spinach and then a third of courgette, then sprinkle with cheese (if using). Then add another layer of sauce and repeat the process two more times so your lasagne has three layers of pasta sheets and finishes with a layer of sauce and (if using) is topped with cheese.

      Cover the lasagne with aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes or until the pasta sheets are cooked. If you have added cheese to the top of your lasagne, remove the foil and cook for a further 10–15 minutes or until the cheese has begun to turn golden.

      Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving. If you are freezing, let it cool completely and then place in the freezer in individually wrapped portion sizes.

      Recipe extracted from Keep It Real by Calgary Avansino (Yellow Kite). Photograph by Kristin Perers.