Lasagna Bolognese

posted in: Main Dishes, Pizza-Pasta, Recipes | 6
When I was a child, my mom made the best spaghetti. It was more than the meat in tomato sauce that most people made. She got the recipe from an Italian neighbor and it had all kinds of good stuff in it – celery, carrots, and plenty of garlic and spices. Unlike a lot of other cooks of the time, she wasn’t afraid to use more than a single clove of garlic if it was called for, nor did she shy from replacing the ubiquitous “Italian seasoning” with individual herbs.

Later, my dad would make the recipe sometimes to give my stepmom a break in the kitchen. He was a little unsure of himself when it came to adding the herbs, though, and sometimes I’d do that step for him. Once, he had been drinking red wine and had left his glass on the kitchen counter. I thought to myself “I want some wine!” so I poured a tiny glass of Gallo Hearty Burgundy. I took one sip, thought “nah, don’t want it after all” and dumped it into the sauce. Then I dumped in some more wine, raised the heat, and cooked the sauce down. At dinner that night, I couldn’t resist revealing my “secret ingredient.” I don’t think I told my parents that I had originally been planning on drinking the wine myself. But from there on, we always put some red wine in the spaghetti sauce.

After I moved away from home, Spaghetti Bolognese was one of the few things I knew how to cook, and I made it a little too often. When I became a vegetarian, I never bothered to seek out a new recipe for it or convert my old one. Then, I came across one on Tastespotting from What Would Cathy Eat, and I knew I had to make it. Cathy writes “This one is particularly chewy and meat-like, because it has not just one, but three “meaty” ingredients: tempeh, mushrooms and lentils. Could this be the vegan holy trinity?” Yes. Yes it is. It also helps that it has a cup of red wine in it.

This makes a lot of sauce; I estimate I made 10 cups. We had this over spaghetti the first time, and then I froze the leftover sauce and made lasagna. The cheese layer is the Cashew Ricotta from Veganomicon. The combination of the two makes a lasagna that’s worthy of serving company. Thanks to no-boil noodles, once the sauce is made, the lasagna comes together quickly.

This goes out to Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this week by Daphne of More than Words.

Lasagna Bolognese

I didn’t change anything significant from the two recipes I used, so I won’t rewrite them here. You can find both at the links; use the Look Inside function on Amazon to search for the cashew ricotta recipe on Veganomicon (or buy the book already!)

5 cups vegan bolognese sauce (about 1/2 a recipe)
1 recipe cashew ricotta
1 8-ounce box no-boil lasagna noodles (12 noodles)

If your sauce has been refrigerated or frozen, warm it up in a medium saucepan so that your lasagna doesn’t take too long to cook. Preheat oven to 350 F.

Oil two 8 x 8 inch pans or a 9 x 13 inch pan. Spread a few spoonfuls of sauce on the bottom. Add 1/3 of the noodles in a single layer. Spread half of the cashew ricotta on top. Top with 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat the layers, ending with a final layer of just noodles and sauce. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until your lasagna is hot in the center.

Serves 8

Update 9/12/2010: This freezes beautifully! Thaw to room temperature (or close) and bake as you would a fresh pan.

One pan for now, one for later.

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6 Responses

  1. I love this type of confort foood! lasagna is soooooo good, yours looks awesome!

  2. and it’s vegetarian? How amazing this looks!My kind of dish for sure.

  3. Daphne, better than vegetarian, it’s vegan! The cheese layer is made of tofu, cashews, lemon juice and spices.

  4. Yum! It looks delicious! I’m new here and see I will be enjoying your great recipes!

  5. Whoa you would never know this is vegetarian OR vegan! Love it. I’ve been meaning to try that cashew ricotta. Definitely need to do it soon.

  6. Hi Pam, it’s nice to meet you!

    Joanne, you really do need to try the cashew ricotta. It’s delicious all on it’s own and as soon as you taste it, you’ll think of all sorts of things you can use it for.

    Morgan, thanks for the compliment!

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