Saturday, March 13, 2010
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
I'll admit right now that lasagna is my "go to" dish to make when I can't think of anything else. It's easy and makes a ton so there's leftovers the next day. I normally make a simple lasagna with just tofu ricotta because I think I've been scarred by terrible vegetable lasagna in the past where the vegetables were totally undercooked and not seasoned. Roasting vegetables is my favourite easy method so I thought, hey, why not combine the best of both worlds and make the Roasted Vegetable Lasagna (page 216)?
The great thing about lasagna is that you can just throw in whatever you want. Robin suggests zucchini, eggplant and red bell pepper which do go together really well. Our terrible grocery store was of course out of eggplant (I don't think I've ever seen it there) so I opted for a vegetable mixture of onion, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini and red pepper. Roasting vegetables is one of the easiest things to do and the flavour is so much better than steamed or sauteed. Just toss or drizzle with oil, salt and pepper and any other herbs & spices that you want and then throw in the oven. Because I can't leave well enough alone, I did sprinkle on some onion and garlic powder and roasted it a little longer than the recipe suggests because I like my vegetables really caramelised.
The tofu ricotta is also simple to make. Just crumble, season and away you go. I ended up using two packages of extra firm Nasoya tofu and added just a spoonful of lemon juice for a bit of acidity to the ricotta along with the parsley, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast.
For the noodles, I chose not to cook them first. For years I used to cook them first but now I just soak the noodles in cold water (don't use hot, it will release the starches and make them stick together) while I'm prepping the other ingredients and then use more sauce than called for. For store bought, I use two large jars — one full jar of sauce at the bottom of the pan and one full jar on the top. The noodles are perfectly cooked during the usual cooking time and it saves me from washing another pot.
For the layering, I opted for a single layer of vegetables and a single layer of tofu ricotta rather than split them both into two layers. For the topping I went with straight nutritional yeast which is usually my standard lasagna topping since I never have vegan parmesan and always forgot to make some.
The finished lasagna was delicious. The roasted vegetables added a great flavour to the entire dish and was so much better than just plain vegetables and the leftovers were even better the next day. Not sure why I didn't think of roasted vegetables in lasagna before but now I think this will be added to my regular rotation.
— Ms. Veganorama