Veggie Lasagna with Fennel Marinara

Monday, March 30, 2009

Lasagna is a big deal. It just is! The closest thing I've come to streamlining the process is to do as much multi-tasking as possible, or to make the different parts ahead of time and refrigerate them. Still, it's an ordeal. Luckily, sometimes it's worth it because a good lasagna is so good.

Veggie Lasagna

Veggie Lasagna with Fennel Marinara
1lb lasagna noodles
10 oz spinach, chopped (or frozen)
4 cups broccoli florets
2 zucchini, chopped
2 tbs almonds, ground

2 tbs vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 carrot, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white wine
28 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz tomato sauce
1/4 cup basil, chopped

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

1 lb firm tofu, drained & crumbled
1 tbs olive oil
3 tbs miso
1/4 tsp salt
1 small lemon, juiced

For the Marinara:
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, fennel and carrots. Saute until the onions are soft, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute for another minute or so, until the garlic becomes aromatic then stir in the wine, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the chopped basil and set aside.

For the Bechamel:
Melt the margarine in a sauce pan, over medium-high heat, until it begins to bubble. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly until the flour begins to brown. Remove from heat and add the soy milk. Return to heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. As soon as the sauce comes to a boil, remove from the heat and set aside.

For the Ricotta:
Crumble the drained tofu into a bowl. Stir in the oil, miso, salt and lemon juice.

For the veggies:
Rinse and chop the spinach and add to a saute pan with only the water that clings to the leaves. Cook over medium high heat until the spinach has completely wilted and the water has mostly evaporated. In batches, press the spinach between two saucers to drain and set aside. If using frozen, thaw, chop, squeeze out the water and set aside.

Add the broccoli and zucchini to the saute pan with about half a cup of water and cover. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, until the broccoli softens. Drain in a colander and set aside.

Cook the pasta until the noodles are pliable, but not completely cooked. Pour off most of the hot water and add enough cold water or ice so you can grab the noodles with your hand.

Add enough marinara to coat the bottom of a 9x13 casserole. Add a layer of noodles (1/4 of package), then half the broccoli and zucchini, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, 1/3 of the bechamel and 1/4 of the remaining marinara.

Add another layer of noodles, followed by the spinach, 1/3 of the ricotta and 1/3 of the bechamel.

Add another layer of noodles, then the remaining broccoli and zucchini, the remaining ricotta mixture and 1/4 of the marinara.

Finally, add the remaining pasta, then the marinara, then the bechamel. Top with ground almonds. Cover and bake at 350 degrees until bubbling, probably 30-45 minutes. Bake time will be longer if the sauces have been refrigerated. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

8 Servings: 585 cal (16g fat, 86g carbs, 35g protein)

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  1. Carrie Says:
  2. Yum! I really need to make a lasagna. This one looks great, especially with that bechamel.

  3. Maida Says:
  4. Oh my gosh! That looks (and sounds) so delicious!!!!!!!!!! Yum. I agree 100% that lasagna is a whole lotta work. Good advice to do parts ahead of time.

  5. Anonymous Says:
  6. That looks fantastic!

  7. Susan G Says:
  8. Love the idea of using bechamel and ricotta! I think that would make up for that little something that vegan lasagne are sometimes missing.


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