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  • 1/3 cup cashews, water to cover
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • one large onion, diced
  • 4–8 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced (see notes for other options)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 25-ounce jar marina sauce- divided
  • 2–3 big handfuls of baby spinach
  • optional additions: cooked lentils, vegan ground meat or ground walnuts- see notes.
  • 1/2 cup basil ribbons, divided


Tofu Ricotta

  • 16-ounce block tofu (firm or extra firm- do not use silken)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove or 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil or parsley (or 1 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning)
  • Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 F
    2. Simmer Cashews: (or soak in cold water 4-8 hours) Place cashews in a small pot, cover with 1 cup water, bring to simmer, cover, simmer 10 minutes, turn heat off, leave covered so they soften. At the same time, start the Mushroom Bolognese.
    3. Make the Mushroom Bolognese: Heat oil in an extra-large skillet. Saute the onion 4-5 minutes until fragrant. Add the garlic, lower heat to medium, and saute 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms, red bell pepper, salt pepper and fennel seeds, and saute until mushrooms release their liquid, and begin to caramelize about 10-15 minutes. Deglaze with red wine if you like, cooking it all off. Stir in the spinach, wilting.
    4. Reserve 1 cup of marinara sauce, and put this in a blender. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of marinara sauce to the mushroom mixture, stirring it in. Rinse the jar with 1/2 cup water and pour this into the bolognese. Bring to a simmer, for 2-3 minutes, season to your liking, adding salt and pepper if you like. If using a sugar-free marinara, a couple teaspoons of maple syrup is nice here. If it lacks depth, you could stir in a little a miso paste. Every jar of marinara is different, so make sure it is flavorful and “saucy” enough to cook the lasagna noodles. If it seems dry, add a little more water.
    5. Creamy Marinara: Add the 1 cup marinara to the blender, along with drained cashews and 1/3 cup water. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. All together in the blender, you should have about 2 cups- so add more water if need be. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Blend until very creamy andsmooth, a full minute. This will be used on the top and bottom of the lasagna.
    6. Make the Tofu Ricotta: Place everything in a food processor and pulse, scraping down sides, Pulse until combined and creamy but not overly smooth.
    7. Assemble: Grease a deep 9 x 13-inch baking dish with spray oil or olive oil. Pour 1 cup of the blended Creamy Marinara Sauce in the bottom, enough to lightly coat. Layer 4 lasagna noodles. Spread out half of the mushroom bolognese. Dot with half of the tofu ricotta. (Feel free to add meltable vegan cheese here if you like). Sprinkle with a third of the basil ribbons.
    8. Repeat: add 4 lasagna noodles, the remaining mushroom bolognese, the remaining tofu ricotta, (optional vegan cheese) and 1/3 of the basil ribbons. Top with the final layer of lasagna noodles, pressing down a bit to create a level base. Cover with the remaining blender sauce. Cover tightly with foil. If the lasagna touches the foil, place a piece of parchment between the lasagna and foil. At this point, you could refrigerate and bake 1-4 days later (letting it come to room temp first).
    9. BAKE: Place in the middle of the oven and bake 50-60 minutes. While it is baking, make the Arugula Pesto.
    10. Remove the foil, test with a knife to see if pasta is tender, all the way through. Let stand 10 minutes. Spoon a little of the Arugula Pesto over top and sprinkle with remaining basil ribbons.
  • Credit:

    Sylvia Fountaine

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