Summer Vegetable Lasagna
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.
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
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Let lasagna stand for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with parsley, if desired.