I have to admit, I’m a little burnt out. As a result of that and in addition to my usual lack of energy, this means that dinners are falling to the wayside. Luckily, a friend’s request for lasagna struck a chord with me and led to inspiration. Why not use already prepared ingredients from a standard olive bar or preserve aisle to stuff the layers full?!
In the two times I’ve made lasagna since moving in with my husband, I’ve not has success. It’s led me to think of lasagna as something that is too much work. The first time I went all out and used a nice lentil-tomato sauce. I love lentils in my pasta sauces! But hey. he’s allergic to lentils. That was a big pan with no one to eat it. The second time, I scaled back the ingredients and kept it super simple – nothing but cheezes and homemade tomato sauce. It still didn’t work out. We toyed with the idea that he was allergic to tomatoes, especially when they were cooked and reduced for a long time, but his reactions were inconsistent. In the past few months, we actually pinpointed the allergy to BASIL. Of course! Basil is in the majority of tomato sauces! Ingredients’ lists don’t often say the specific herbs and spices, so this was a really hard one to figure out! Point is, we’re here and we have now had our first successful pan of lasagna. I wanted this to be as low prep as possible, a small portion (in case it didn’t work out) but still chock-full of goodies. My absolute favourite part is the soft, sweet onion slices that start to caramelize in the sauce while it’s cooking in the oven.
Quickie Lasagna For Two
Serves 2, generously
6 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
2 cups pasta sauce, your choice, I used my vodka sauce
1 small sweet onion, sliced into thin rounds (I used Cipollini onions)
2 cups frozen spinach, thawed (or fresh, shredded)
1 cup marinated small mushrooms (sub canned mushrooms)
1/2 cup marinated eggplant. drained (spicy or not)
1 cup vegan ricotta, tofu or cashew (My quick tofu recipe to follow)
1 teaspoon olive oil
Freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 F. Spread 3/4 cup tomato sauce in the bottom. Lay out the slices of onion over the top of the sauce and then the spinach over that. Spread 3 lasagna noodles over that. Carefully press 1/2 of the ricotto over the noodles. Lay out the marinated mushrooms, then the eggplant. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of sauce over that. One more layer of noodles, followed by the rest of the sauce. Top with the rest of the ricotta. Drizzle the olive oil over the top. Finish with black pepper. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
225 g firm tofu (or raw cashews, soaked, drained and pulsed until crumbly)
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Crumble the tofu until no large pieces remain. Stir the remaining ingredients in. Let sit, so the flavours can co-mingle, for as long as you have. You can use it immediately, though.