Vegetarian Tofu Lasagna

A few weeks ago, walking along Soho’s Old Compton Street, as we’ve done many times before, we decided to go into the small Italian deli I Camisa for the first time. We were so amazed at the selection of pastas, meats and other goods we vowed to go back, but in the meanwhile, picked up some rather authentically-Italian looking lasagna sheets. Last night I finally got around to experimenting a little and making a vegetarian lasagna with tofu – and it was fantastic! This recipe will serve about four, or three hungry people!

img_9054

  • 250 grams tofu
  • 2 white onions
  • 1 red onion
  • about 6 chestnut mushrooms
  • 100 grams fresh spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 500 grams sieved tomatoes/pasata
  • some sliced black olives
  • 1 large egg
  • 120 grams grated mozzarella
  • 1 courgette/zucchini
  • 1 medium sized aubergine
  • Some dried basil and thyme
  • Lasagna sheets (I used ten dried lasagna sheets)

Making lasagna can be complex but this way you can prepare the tofu mixture before everything else. dsc00568There’s quite a bit of preparation required so the first step is to finely chop the white onions and mush the tofu together with them. I used the attachment on my hand blender to do this. Next finely chop the mushrooms and transfer with a little olive oil and two crushed garlic cloves to a large pan. Cook slowly for about five minutes, then gradually add the tofu mixture and a little salt with some more olive oil. Cook for about five more minutes.

dsc00569Keep the heat on low and add the spinach. I used fresh baby spinach which could be added whole. Fold in to the mixture slowly and add a few pinches of dried basil for flavour.

Once the spinach has wilted and is folded in, add the egg into the pan (again, low heat) and mix into the mixture. You could whisk the egg before adding into the mixture. After another couple of minutes stirring the mixture turn off the heat and add the mozzarella (reserve a little for the topping).

That’s the difficult bit done. The tomato sauce is easy. Again, a little olive oil, add the red onion, finely chopped, and the final crushed garlic clove. Heat slowly until the onion is soft then add a pinch of thyme and the olives. dsc00573You should probably add some salt at this point (I forgot) then, after a couple of minutes heating, add the sieved tomatoes. Warm through and turn off the heat. (I told you that was easy).

Finally, thinly slice the courgette and layer the bottom of the lasagna dish. Slice thinly about half of the aubergine (only slice this when you’re about to use it) and layer on top of the courgette. Cover with some tomato mixture (I used too much on this layer and would suggest using just less than half), making sure it seeps down between the layered veg. a layer of lasagna sheets (the Barilla sheets I used didn’t need precooking). dsc00574Cover the lasagna sheets with a layer of the tofu mixture. I made this a thick later using all of the mixture, but use your judgment. Cover with another layer of lasagna. Brush the lasagna with a little of the tomato mixture, cover with the remaining courgettes and some more thinly sliced aubergine and pour over the rest of the tomato mixture. Cover with a final layer of lasagna. Brush this with a little water, and sprinkle over the remaining mozzarella.

After all of this, transfer to the oven (200 Celsius; conversions for temperature and weights, as ever, here), img_9051wash up and sit back and relax while it bakes for about thirty minutes. Leave to stand for five minutes before serving. Great with a healthy salad.

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Published in: on 8 November, 2008 at 11:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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