You guys, this is my absolute favorite meal to make when non-vegan friends come over for dinner. I always get rave reviews and comments like, "are you sure this is vegan?!" Yes friends, it's vegan, and it's DELICIOUS. I am so excited to share this recipe, please share your results with me!
Red Sauce Recipe:
1/2 Yellow Onion, Diced
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, Diced
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
6 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms, Finely chopped
2 Italian Sausage Links, Finely chopped (Tofurky)
1 16 oz can plain tomato sauce (no seasoning)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 pinch of cane sugar
Additional water for thinning
In a medium size pot, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and add onion, bell pepper, mushroom and garlic, saute until tender. Add Italian sausage and seasonings, stir until fragrant. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste, stir, add water if needed for thinning. The sauce should be thick, but think enough to slowly pour. Turn heat to low, cover and let it simmer while you make the ricotta.
1 Block Extra Firm Tofu (Drained)
1/2 Cup Raw Cashews (Soaked 8 hours, or boiled 10 minutes. Drained.)
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
1 Clove Garlic
1 Tsp Sea Salt
Water or plain plant milk for thinning (I use West Soy original soy milk)
In a high powered blender add ingredients in the order listed above.
Begin blending on low, slowly adding liquid as it begins to smooth out. Gradually turn the speed to medium/high and allow the mixture to get to a traditional ricotta texture (smooth, but not still "silky")
-If you have a VitaMix, definitely use the wand for this recipe, if not, you will have to keep scraping down the sides and adding more liquid.
Taste and add more salt as needed.
Oven Ready Lasagna Noodles
Fresh Basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 375F. Cover the bottom on a 9x12 baking dish with a light layer on the red sauce. "Oven Ready" Lasagna noodles evenly across the length of the dish, my dish fit 3 noodles. Spread 1/2 cup of red sauce over the noodles and then dollop 6 Tbsp sized spoon fulls of ricotta onto the red sauce, spacing them evenly apart, slightly spread them out so that all are touching, sprinkle with chopped basil. Add the next layer on noodles and then repeat process a total of 3 times (or as many as your dish/ingredients will allow.) -Be sure to end our last layer with the ricotta & fresh basil to ensure a beautiful end result.
Cover your dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Before you serve your lasagna, test to make sure the pasta is cooked through.
Garnish with fresh basil and any left over ricotta and get ready to impress your guests! ;)