This recipe does not require you to cook the lasagna noodles before hand but to be put uncooked in the baking pan. When covered and baked, the heat from the sauce will help to cook the noodles.
I was worried about making this because I did not have the 9x13x2 inch baking pan it required. I had to use a smaller dish that I think is around 10x7x4 inches. When I was done putting together all the layers I got worried because my pan was filled to the top. I knew that when the lasagna noodles cooked, they would expand and that might result in everything spilling over. Thank goodness that did not happen and everything was okay. So if you do not have the recommended dish but something smaller, know that there is still hope. You might just have to cut an inch or so from the noodles to make them fit, as I did. But other than that, it will cook perfectly fine.
As for taste, this had to be the most delicious lasagna I've ever tried, restaurant bought or homemade. When I first looked the recipe, I thought, carrots and zucchini, could that work? Oh but it did! It went so well together.
And the sauce with the tahini and miso was so good. I could have eaten that alone as a dipping sauce with some fresh cut veggies.
The tomato sauce was also delicious, adding fresh basil to anything will make it a hit. Overall an A+ meal and something that I will continue to cook for awhile.
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Serves 6 to 8
* 2 Tb olive oil
* 2 onions, thinly sliced
* 6 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 tsp dried basil
* 2 tsp dried oregano
* 2 tsp sea salt
* 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
* 12 oz white button mushrooms, washed & sliced
* 8 oz carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
* 1 lb zucchini, thinly slced
* 4 bunches fresh spinach, stems trimmed
* 2 3/4 cups Herbed Tomato Sauce ( Recipe Below ) or your favorite marinara sauce
* 10 spinach lasagna or regular whole wheat lasagna
* 3 cups Tofu Ricotta Cheese ( Recipe Below )
1. Heat 1 Tb olive oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Saute for 5 mintues, or until the onions are tender.
2. Add the mushrooms and saute 8 minutes longer, or until the mushrooms are golden.
3. Add the carrots and zucchini and saute 10 minutes longer, or until the carrots are crisp-tender. Cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, steam the spinach. Pour enough water into a large pot to come 1 inch up the sides. Set a steamer basket in the pot, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Working in batches, loosely fill the steamer basket with spinach and steam 3 minutes, or until tender. Transfer the spinach to a bowl and once all the spinach is steamed, cool, then squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Oil a 13 by 9 by 2 inch baking dish with the remaining 1 Tb olive oil. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Lay 3 noodles in a single layer atop the sauce ( noodles won't cover the bottom of the dish completely but will expand as they cook ). Spread 1 cup of the cheese over the noodles.
6. Cover the cheese with half the sauteed vegetables and all of the spinach.
7. Spread 1/2 cup of sauce over the spinach and top with 3 more noodles. Cover with remaining sauteed vegetables. Spread another cup of cheese and then another 1/2 cup of sauce over the vegetables. Top with 4 more noodles to cover and spoon another 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles.
8. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 1 hour or until the sauce bubbles and the noodles are tender. Remove the foil and spread the remaining 1 cup cheese and then the final 1/2 cup sauce over the lasagna. Use a knife to swirl the sace and cheese decoratively. Bake the lasagna 10 minutes longer, and then let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Herbed Tomato Sauce
Makes 6 cups
* 2 Tb olive oil
* 1 large onion, thinly sliced
* 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 2/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
* 2/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
* 2 ( 28 ounce ) cans diced tomatoes
* 1 cup vegetable stock
* 1 ( 6 ounce ) can tomato paste
* 1 Tb dried oregano
* 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
* 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender.
2. Stir in the basil and parsley and saute for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
3. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, then the stock, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper.
4. Bring to a simmer. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender. Uncover and cool slightly.
5. Using a handheld immersion blender, puree the sauce until smooth. Alternatively, working in batches, transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.
The sauce will keep for 3 days, covered and refrigerated.
Tofu Ricotta Cheese
Makes 3 cups
* 14 ounces water, packed firm tofu, drained
* 1/3 cup yellow miso
* 2/3 cup water
* 1/2 cup tahini
* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 5 large cloves garlic
* 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
* 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. The cheese will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated.
Nutritional Information ( As 6 Servings )
Lasagna : 281 calories, 6g fat, 45g carbohydrates, 5g sugar, 574mg sodium, 7g protein
Herbed Tomato Sauce : 104 calories, 5g fat, 10g carbohydrates, 6g sugar, 457mg sodium, 2g protein
Tofu Ricotto Cheese : 226 calories, 17g fat, 5g carbohydrates, 956mg sodium, 8g protein