This recipe is based on a classic Italian lasagna recipe from my grandmother. I think if my grandmother were alive today she would be delighted by my twist on her trademark recipe. In fact she might be quite amazed to find how incredibly good this becomes by replacing the ricotta with a sumptuous and creamy blend of cashew cream and firm tofu. This recipe serves 5 to 6.
Ingredients for Best Vegan Lasagna
1 cup of raw whole cashews, soaked overnight, then drained and pureed in a blender with about 1 cup water until completely smooth. You should have a nice thick cream.
1 package organic extra firm tofu, crumbled into small bits with your hands
4 Tablespoons finely diced parsely
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 9oz package of no boil lasagna
1 package of Upton Natural Italian sausage seitan
2 cloves garlic
4 cups of marinara sauce or crushed tomatoes
1 package of Daiya shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package of Upton Naturals Italian Sausage Seitan (or comparable product)
Directions for Best Vegan Lasagna
To make the tofu / cashew cream filling: drain tofu well and pat dry. Crumble with hands and place in mixing bowl. Add the cashew cream, tsp. salt, pepper, parsley, lemon juice and 2 Tsp. olive oil. Blend well but not too smooth. You still want to see some crumbles in the mixture so that it resemble the texture of ricotta cheese. It should be thick but rather fluffy.
To prepare the meat sauce: Saute a clove or two of garlic in olive oil for a few minutes. add the Upton Naturals Seitan italian sausage by crumbling it up into the pan. Add your tomatoes or sauce. If desired, add a 1/4 cup dry white or red wine and let the alcohol cook out of the mixture for a minute or two. Salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the lasagna: Coat a medium size, shallow lasagna pan with olive oil. Place a layer of lasagna pasta to cover the bottom of the pan. Next add a layer of the tofu filling followed by a layer of the meat sauce. Continue in this manner until you get close to the top. Finish with a pasta layer and sprinkle the entire package of mozzarella cheese evenly over the top. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast on top. Place in oven at 350F for one hour until bubbly and golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest for at least an hour before serving. Reheat if necessary before serving.