Spinach “Ricotta” and Cashew Lasagna
This is a delicious traditional lasagna recipe that I inherited from my grandmother Maria da Graca. Of course it wasn’t vegan originally but I “veganized” it and added cashew because it goes very well with tofu and spinach. You don’t need to tell your guests it’s dairy free and I am sure they won’t know the difference!
- One 12.3-ounce package firm organic tofu, strained
- One 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- One 8-ounce package vegan cream cheese
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 12 to 13 no-boil vegan lasagna noodles
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella-flavored vegan cheese3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing
- 3 cloves garlic, 2 thinly sliced and 1 whole
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pound cashew
- One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with oil.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced garlic, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes and stir for about 45 seconds. Add the tomatoes, 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon salt, bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced and most of the water is evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, add the tofu, spinach, cashew, vegan cream cheese, basil, nutritional yeast, whole clove garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and nutmeg to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
Spread a few tablespoons of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish and top with 4 noodles (This is fine if they overlap slightly; divide the noodle into pieces to fill in any gaps if you need to).
Add half of the tofu mixture and spread out evenly. Top with a third of the sauce. Repeat with another 4 noodles, the remaining spinach mixture and half the remaining sauce.
Finish the lasagna with the remaining 4 noodles and sauce. Bake until the lasagna is hot, about 45 minutes.
Sprinkle with the shredded vegan cheese and bake until the lasagna is very hot and the cheese is slightly melted, about 15 minutes more. Let cool for a few minutes, cut into 6 pieces and garnish with basil leaves