Bolognese Lasagna, No Really!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

With beef, pork, and veal; whole milk, butter and cheese; I can think of few things that are less vegan. Bolognese sauce was also one of my favorites. I made it a while back with minced portabella mushrooms instead of meat and it was good. I made it yesterday with seitan hamburger. It made me happy. The sauce makes for a delicious spaghetti and, for a potluck yesterday, I combined it with a rich bechamel and some tofu ricotta to veganize my latest challenge: Vegan Bolognese Lasagna.

I brought the lasagna and cooked at the pot luck, so I don't have a finished photo. The bolognese sauce looks good, though. I'm glad my wife can bake. The cupcakes were good, especially the frosting.


Bolognese Lasagna
12 strips dry lasagna noodles


1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
4 tbs Earth Balance Margarine
1/2 onion, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
1 carrot, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 links seitan hamburger, minced
1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
28 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz tomato sauce


4 tbs Earth Balance Margarine
1/4 cup flour
4 cups unsweetened soy milk
1/2 tsp salt


8 oz firm tofu, pressed
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbs miso

Sauce: Put dried mushrooms in a small bowl and, cover with water, then losely wrap the bowl with seran wrap. Microwave for about a minute, until the mushrooms are soft. Set aside. Melt margarine in a large sauce pan. Saute onions, celery and carrot until soft. Add garlic and saute for a minute. Add seitan and cook until warm. Add soy milk and boil until the liquid has been reduced, about 15 min. Add wine and boil again, until liquid has been reduced. There should be very little liquid in the pan and should be incorporated into the mince. Squeeze the excess liquid from the porcinis into the sauce. Mince the mushrooms and add them to the sauce, along with the reserved liquid. Add the tomatoes and sauce. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about half an hour. Set aside and allow to cool a bit.

Bechamel: Heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the mixture turns a light, golden hue, about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in soy milk (preferrably room temperature). Allow to simmer, stirring frequently until no lumps remain and the sauce thickens a bit. Stir in salt and set aside. Allow to cool until a bit. Stir about 1/2 cup bechamel into the tomato sauce.

Ricotta: Crumble tofu into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and, with your fingers, thoroghly mix.

Pasta: Just before you are ready to assemble, cook pasta in boiling water just until pliable. Drain and plunge into cold water.

Assembly: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. layer 1/3 of the noodles, then spread 1/3 tomato sauce, 1/2 tofu mix and 1/3 bechamel. Repeat. Top with a final layer of noodles, tomato sauce and bechamel. Cover and bake until the sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes.

8 Servings: 551 cal (18g fat, 65g carbs, 26g protein)

And, for your viewing pleasure. Here's a pic of the birthday cupcake for a guy turning 38!


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  1. Ann22 Says:
  2. Thanks for that recipe, I've been trying to make vegan lasagna for my sister, but I was having trouble finding a tofu ricotta recipe. That one sounds easy. But I have one question though, does it taste a lot like tofu? Because we don't really like it.

  3. Matt Says:
  4. You don't taste the tofu. You mix it with lemon juice and miso to add a flavor a bit like parmesan. The oil gives it a texture more like ricotta, so I wouldn't let the tofu turn you off. It should look like ricotta when you spread it.


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