Chef:

Lindsay
Lindsay

Craving some comfort during the summer months? This is the answer to that craving: a summer veggie-packed lasagna that is lightened up by a tofu “ricotta” but still, flavor-packed thanks to a generous amount of herbs. If you don’t want to turn on your oven for this, try cooking it covered on the grill.

Recipe

Servings: 8

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

*Your Chef will lead you through all the techniques, so prepping ahead of class is optional

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1⁄2 pounds cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 – 24 ounce can tomato puree
  • 1 – 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Ingredients for the tofu “ricotta”

  • 1 – 12 ounce block extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped or 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 16 ounces low-moisture 2% or fat free mozzarella cheese

To build the lasagna

  • 7 ounces dried whole wheat lasagna noodles, no cook/instant whole wheat lasagna noodles* or fresh whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 2 medium zucchini, peeled in long strips
  • 1 medium summer squash, peeled in long strips
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled in long strips 
  • 1 – 10 ounce bag fresh spinach
  • 1 bunch of lacinato kale, stripped from the stems (optional)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped, for garnish

*to ensure no cook/instant pasta has enough liquid to cook through, add 1/2 cup of water to sauce

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat until it’s shimmering then add in the onion, carrots, red bell pepper and mushrooms. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Pour in the tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste. Mix well to combine and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the dried herbs, cover and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  4. While the sauce is cooking, make the tofu “ricotta” by combining all of the ingredients except the basil in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse until the mixture resembles ricotta (it has some small pieces but is cohesive). Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the chopped basil and mozzarella. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Spoon about 1 cup of vegetable sauce in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish, then cover with one layer of alternating noodles and zucchini strips. Layer with 2 cups of vegetable sauce (or enough to cover the zucchini and pasta) then 1 cup of the “ricotta”, distributed evenly over the sauce followed by a generous layer of spinach. Repeat the layers.
  6. Pour the remaining vegetable sauce and ricotta over the last layer of lasagna sheets. Top with the parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
  7. Let lasagna stand for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with parsley, if desired.