14 October 2008

vegan lasagna

Inviting vegans to a dinner party often causes issues. What can you serve that everyone will like, without causing the meateaters to grumble or the animal-lovers to go hungry? The solution is a big dish that tastes like it has dairy in it but doesn't really. This is a vegan lasagna recipe we made for friends a few weeks ago.

We slightly messed with a recipe found here. They called for making your own sauce. We skipped that hour-long step in memory of Paul Newman, RIP.

Be sure to get two jars of tomato sauce - you'll need 'em. Here's the rest of the recipe:
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 1 lb. dry uncooked eggless lasagna noodles
  • 2 (16-oz.) packages firm tofu, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Bring large pot of water to boil. Once the water boils, add salt and noodles. Cook until al dente. Drain, rinse with water and drain again. To keep the noodles from sticking layer them between damp paper towels. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Crumble tofu into a blender or food processor. Blend with garlic, basil, parsley, salt and pepper until you have the consistency of ricotta:

Now you're ready to put it together. Spoon about 1 cup sauce over bottom of a baking dish (no need to oil first). Add layer of noodles and top with one-third tofu mixture. Spoon over about 1 1/2 cups sauce and top with another layer of noodles. Keep doing this in stages until you're out of everything.

Cover with foil and bake for half an hour. While you're waiting discuss animal rights.

Remove from oven and let stand about 15 minutes before serving.
How did it taste? Great, and everyone liked it. However... we all had ideas for how to improve on it. The tomato sauce we used could have been chunkier, for one. We could have added more garlic to the tofu, too. But the best idea was to include fake ground beef in a layer. Because it's such a simple recipe, there are hundreds of ways to vary this one. And they will all work.



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