Summertime Vegan Lasagna with Slow-Roasted Tomato Sauce and Tofu Ricotta (gluten free, vegan)

Vegan Lasagna

Lasagna is one of those perfect foods. It’s protein, carbs, and greens all rolled into one delicious package – and then smothered with cheese! What’s not to love? I’ve never met a lasagna I didn’t like, though of course some are much better than others. Lasagna is also great for entertaining, since you can feed a big crowd easily and still end up with leftovers for the week. But why am I trying to sell lasagna to you? We all know how great it is.

We also know how much work it can be. Some lasagnas are pretty quick to pull together, but those often involve a lot of ready-made sauces, which I try to avoid whenever possible. I understand we all get pressed for time, and so sometimes that’s the way to go, but I prefer to make lasagna when I have the time to cook everything from scratch.

That being said, I will preface this recipe by saying that it is definitely a “make on the weekend for some friends” kinda meal. Or it could be a “make on a Sunday so I have meals for the week” kinda meal as well, so the time you spend prepping on a lazy Sunday saves you precious hours during the busy week. The prep can be done in about two hours, some of which time you don’t have to do any work at all, and then it has to bake for an hour. But then – and this is the hard part – you have to let it rest for a good 45 minutes. If you don’t, the tomato sauce won’t have time to settle into the noodles and it will come out watery. But the great thing about lasagna is that it tastes better the longer it sits, so if you make this in the afternoon and then reheat in the oven slightly when it’s time to eat, it will taste fantastic and leave you with lots of down time. And let’s face it, nothing makes hosting a dinner party more stressful than having 8 different things to prepare that all have to be done right before serving.

If you’re pressed for time and want to omit making the sauce in favour of store-bought that’s totally fine, you’ll be able to pull this together in no time at all and it will still taste great.

Below are the tomatoes going into the oven and then what they should look like coming out. Unfortunately, I can’t share with you the beautiful aroma that will be wafting out of your oven by this point!

Vegan Lasagna 2The skins will literally just peel off without any effort now.

Vegan Lasagna 3Similarly, below you will see what the lasagna should look like going in and coming out after being baked and browned.

Vegan Lasagna  6Vegan Lasagna  7And then it’s time to dig in…

Vegan Lasagna  8

Summertime Vegan Lasagna with Slow-Roasted Tomato Sauce and Tofu Ricotta

~ Gluten free, vegan, nut free ~

Ingredients

For the tomato sauce

  • 12 vine tomatoes, halved
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sucanat, or sugar
  • sea salt and black pepper

For the tofu ricotta

  • 1 package extra firm organic tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1.5 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • sea salt and black pepper

For the lasagna

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 shallots, minced
  • 1 bunch of spinach, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 6-8 cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed
  • 1.5 packages Daiya mozzarella
  • 1 batch tofu ricotta
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 15 gluten free lasagna sheets

Directions

For the tomato sauce

  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss the tomatoes with the olive oil, garlic, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the tomatoes cut side down on the parchment paper and bake for about two hours.
  4. Once the tomatoes have cooled slightly, remove the skins, and then transfer the tomatoes and their juices into a large pot.
  5. Mash everything together with a potato masher or spoon to create a chunky sauce, then add the sugar and a bit more salt and bring the whole thing to a boil.
  6. Simmer for about 20 minutes and then set aside for later.

For the tofu ricotta

  1. In a large bowl, mix all the spices together. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mash together with a fork or the back of a spoon until well mixed. You could also do this with a food processor, but you don’t want a completely smooth consistency (and extra cleanup), so this method works best.

For the lasagna

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and then toss in the asparagus. Cook for two minutes and then transfer to a plate with tongs.
  2. In the same water, add the lasagna sheets and par-boil for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside, taking care not to let the sheets stick together – rice pasta is particularly sticky.
  3. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté until it becomes golden, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the shallots and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for another 6 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté for another couple of minutes, until wilted.
  5. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes before transferring to a large bowl. Add in half the tofu ricotta and gently mix together.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix together the other half of the ricotta and the chopped artichoke hearts.
  7. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a large (9 x 13 inch) casserole dish.
  8. Lay down 5 lasagna sheets (or adjust according to the size of your dish, and cover with a thin layer of the tomato sauce.
  9. Spread on the mushroom ricotta mixture, then sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella.
  10. Layer another 5 lasagna noodles and then another coating of the tomato sauce.
  11. Add a single layer of asparagus spears, then top with the artichoke ricotta mixture.
  12. Layer another 5 lasagna noodles and then cover with sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella.
  13. Loosely cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the aluminum foil, turn the oven onto broil, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the top starts to become golden.
  14. Allow to cool for at least 45 minutes before serving.

 

One thought on “Summertime Vegan Lasagna with Slow-Roasted Tomato Sauce and Tofu Ricotta (gluten free, vegan)

  1. although I haven’t made it I thought I could smell the aromas and taste the cheese. I am going to put this together once I settle in B.C. Come join me for dinner!

    Like

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