Tag Archives: lasagne

Sneaky Tofu Lasagne

tofu lasagne 3

Awhile ago, I did a post on our favorite lasagne done several ways.  Well, I found another way to vary it and still keep it vegetarian!

Our dear friends came over for dinner over the weekend, and I needed to make something FAST that would serve eight people, AND be something kids would probably like.  While I was making it, I felt like it needed more substance.  But I didn’t have time to grill vegetables, and I didn’t know if my friend’s kids would like it with vegetables anyway.  I thought of adding more cheese, but there is a lot in it as is.  I remember reading about combining ricotta with tofu on The Kitchn blog, so I thought I would try it.   I doubled my sauce recipe and added onion to it.  Then I made the lasagne with a mixture of fresh mozzarella and smoky mozzarella and parmesan as I always do.

You can see the ricotta and tofu mixture here.

You can see the ricotta and tofu mixture here.

Roasted zucchini and eggplant were served on the side, so people could have the veggies if they wanted it.  The lasagne was really delicious!  I’m happy to say, adults and kids had seconds, and no one was the wiser! 🙂

tofu lassagne 2

Sneaky Lasagne

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, pressed through a garlic press or smashed

2 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (or whole pureed)

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

kosher salt

2 teaspoons sugar (optional)

1 box of lasagne noodles (1 lb.)

1 container of ricotta cheese (16 oz.)

1/2 block of tofu (I used firm, but any would do)

8 oz. smoky mozzarella, grated

8 oz. plain mozzarella, grated

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Mix grated mozzarella cheeses together in a bowl and set aside.  Mix ricotta and tofu together with hands in another bowl.  Set aside

3.  Saute onions in oil until soft.  Add garlic and saute for about a minute — do not burn!

4.  Add tomatoes, herbs, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and sugar if desired.  Simmer 20 minutes uncovered over medium low heat.

5.  Meanwhile soak noodles in boiling water in 2  9-inch by 13-inch baking dishes, covering by about 1/2-inch.  Stir occasionally to keep pasta from sticking.

6.  Assemble lasagne in each pan in this general order:

1 cup sauce, pasta, 1/6 of the ricotta mixture spread on top, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella mixture, a spoonful or so of the parmesan.  Then pasta, 1/6 ricotta mixture spread on top, some sauce, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella mixture, and a spoonful of parmesan.  The last layer is pasta, 1/6 ricotta mixture, some sauce.  Leave about 1 cup of mozzarella mixture to cover both pans later.  You will have extra sauce leftover.  Heat and serve later with meal.

7.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and top with remaining mozzarella and spoonful of so of parmesan and bake for another 5- 10 minutes.  Serve with extra sauce at the table.

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Filed under Children, Dinner, Pasta, Vegetarian

Smoky Mozzarella Lasagne Three Ways

I had two “fails” yesterday. One was the lasagne recipe I was planning on posting. It was a partial experiment (I added grilled vegetables), and it didn’t go as expected! The “fail” part was that it was a little too saucy and watery due to the vegetables — even though I had grilled them. My sweetie pie son kept saying “Mommy, this is SO not a fail! It’s SO good!” while eating it though, so the flavor wasn’t affected. He actually literally licked his plate clean.  Kind of gross but sweet at the  same time.  🙂  Then when we had it the next night as a leftover, it was perfect — so unlike dry leftover lasagne that needs a good dose of extra sauce. So I think if I were to make this again, I would let it set awhile after coming out of the oven to let the juices redistribute and thicken more instead of cutting and serving right away. If anyone else has any other suggestions, please share! Otherwise, this is a great spin on a classic and it is a little lighter and more nutritious with the addition of the extra vegetables.

My other” fail” involved work.  Let’s just say I was screaming and cursing at 10:30 pm after working about six hours on an illustration only to lose ALL of the work I had done on the computer. In technical terms, I accidentally saved my file after collapsing all of my layers and reducing the dpi to 72 from 300 dpi instead of doing a “save as” and renaming it. The work was done after my automatic backup to my external hard drive, so I had no other copy.

Suffice it to say, it was a LONG day. I started redoing everything I had lost this morning at 6:45 am and completed everything before lunch.  I’ve just begun creating the final illustrations for the book , and I’m so excited about this project — can’t talk much about it, but it does involve food, so I’ve been making a lot of little paper collage treats. 🙂  It will be published by Viking next year!

Juicy oranges

Plate o' donuts from the diner

On to that lasagne “fail” recipe…

I’ve been making this lasagne for years ever since I first saw a version of it in a 2000 issue of Gourmet. That’s how long it’s been! It’s a vegetarian lasagne that doesn’t have the ricotta and egg filling that traditional lasagne has, so it’s a bit lighter. I’ve changed the recipe over the years. I use a combination of smoky and regular mozzarella because I think using only smoky makes it too salty. I decided to take it a step further in my quest to increase veggies into our meals and layer the pasta with grilled eggplant and zucchini. I made three versions in one pan — 1/3 all pasta, 1/3 half pasta half veggie, and 1/3 no pasta all veggie. (Easy to guess who eats which portions!)

If using eggplant, salt slices and drain in colander for 30 minutes. I do this to season it and to reduce moisture.

Meanwhile make sauce. I buy whole tomatoes which I puree in my Vitamix, but crushed canned tomatoes works well too. Slow saute crushed garlic in olive oil to infuse the oil with flavor. Add tomatoes, dried basil, oregano, kosher salt, and sugar if you like, and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.

Cover lasagne noodles with boiling water in dish while sauce cooks for 20 minutes. This reduces the baking time. Determine how many noodles you need depending on how much vegetables you will be using. In my version I used six.

Move them around from time to time so they don't stick.

If using veggies, grill; otherwise skip this step.

Pat rinsed and drained eggplant slices with paper towels. Brush zucchini and eggplant with olive oil and grill on each side for about 2 minutes. I cover mine with a lid so they steam and grill at the same time.

Look at those grill marks!

Now you’re ready to assemble lasagne. Drain pasta if using. Start with about a cup of sauce on the bottom of the pan.

Then layer with noodles, veggies, 1 cup of mozzarella mixture, a spoonful of parmesan, another cup of sauce, and repeat two more times except on the last layer, end with sauce and reserve the cheeses.

Second layer

Last layer

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, top with rest of cheeses and bake another 10 minutes or so until cheese is melted.

You may have leftover grilled veggies, depending on how much you use.  This isn’t a bad thing.   They can easily be used in frittatas, pizzas, quesadillas, salads…

All pasta, no veg

Half pasta and veg

All veg

Smoky Mozzarella Lasagne Three Ways
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch slices crosswise

kosher salt
1 medium zucchini, cut into 3/8-inch slices lengthwise

olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, pressed through a garlic press or smashed

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (or whole pureed)

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)

Lasagne noodles (figure on 3 sheets per “stack” — amount depends on how much vegetable you use)

8 oz. smoky mozzarella, grated

8 oz. plain mozzarella, grated

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Mix grated mozzarella cheeses together in a bowl and set aside.

3.  Salt and drain eggplant if using.

4.  Saute garlic in about 1-2 teaspoons olive oil until soft on low heat — do not burn!

5.  Add tomatoes, herbs, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and sugar if desired.  Simmer 20 minutes uncovered over medium low heat.

6. Meanwhile soak noodles in boiling water in a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish, covering by about 1/2-inch.  Stir occasionally to keep pasta from sticking.

7.  Rinse and drain eggplant if using. Pat dry with paper towels.  Brush eggplant and zucchini slices with oil and grill about 2 minutes per side, covering with a large lid.

7.  Assemble lasagne using pasta or veggies or both in this general order:

1 cup sauce, pasta, vegetable, or both, 1 cup of the mozzarella mixture, a spoonful or so of the parmesan.  Repeat twice, reserving the last layer of cheese for later.

8.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and top with remaining cheese and bake for another 5- 10 minutes.

9.  Let rest for an hour if possible if using vegetables!  I think this would prevent runny sauce as mentioned at the beginning of the post.  This lasagne is great the next day!

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Filed under Dinner, Pasta

Matzo Lasagne



For those of you celebrating Passover this week, here is a delicious lasagna made with matzo crackers, and a combination of smoky and regular mozzarella cheeses.  If you can find the smoked type, it is definitely worth getting.  The flavor is more intense and a bit more salty.  I like to mix the mozarella cheeses when making this dish, as I think they complement each other nicely.  Parmesan is thrown in for another layer of cheesy goodness.

The matzo crackers work well in place of lasagna pasta.  You don’t have to soak them long — just 30 seconds in warm water.
This post will be short and sweet (or savory) because I am starting a new book project and have a crazy deadline!

Have a great week!

Smoky Mozzarella Matzo Lasagne

1 small eggplant, sliced into ¼ inch slices

non-stick cooking spray

kosher salt

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

2 garlic cloves minced

1 28-oz. can of crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon sugar

About 4 whole Matzo crackers

¼  lb. fresh mozzarella, coarsely grated

¼  lb. smoked mozzarella, coarsely grated

¼  cup freshly grated parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.  Lay eggplant slices on top in one layer.  Coat with spray again and sprinkle with salt.  Roast in oven turning once for about 10 minutes.  Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot and sauté onions with oregano and basil until softened.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and sugar and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes.
  4. Spray an 8-by8-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.  Set aside.
  5. Mix grated cheeses together in a bowl.  Set aside.
  6. Soak matzo crackers in warm water for about 30 seconds.
  7. Spread 3/4 cups sauce in baking dish and top sauce with 1 drained matzo cracker.  Break another matzo cracker to fill in gaps, overlapping if necessary.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and half of parmesan evenly.  Top with another layer of  drained matzo crackers.  Repeat layering with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheeses, rest of parmesan, 3/4 cups sauce and remaining matzo crackers.  Finish by topping with 3/4 cups sauce and rest of mozzarella cheeses.
  8. Bake lasagna covered with foil, in middle of oven 30 minutes. Bake until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes more.

Makes about 4 servings.


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Filed under Dinner