Lasagna with Roasted Cauliflower, Ricotta & Spinach
The toasty roasted cauliflower blends perfectly into tofu ricotta and gives the lasagna so much flavor. The sauce cooks right with the lasagna. A handful of olives scattered on top gives a salty kick.
This recipe fills an 8-inch pan to the top to serve 6.
Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta
1 medium-size head cauliflower, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Several pinches freshly ground black pepper
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes with basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces lasagna noodles, broken in half, cooked in salted water
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/4 cup chopped black olives
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cauliflower on the sheet and drizzle the oil over it. Spray it with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Toss with your hands to disperse salt. Spread cauliflower in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes, then flip with a spatula. Bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned, tender, and toasty.
In the meantime, crumble tofu into a mixing bowl. Use your hands to mash the tofu, squeezing it between your fingers, until it has the consistency of ricotta cheese. Add the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, pepper, and remaining salt. Use a fork to mix well.
When the cauliflower is done, transfer it too the mixing bowl with the tofu mixture. Use a potato masher to mash it really well, for a minute or so. If it doesn't seem to be mashing enough with the potato masher, a few pulses in a food processor should get it nice and crumbly. Set aside.
To prepare sauce, mix all its ingredients together and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour a thin layer of red sauce on the bottom of any 8-inch square casserole. Line with a layer of noodles. Spread with one-third of the cauliflower ricotta. Layer with 3/4 cup of spinach leaves. Pour on about a cup of sauce.
Repeat the process one more time, creating another identical layer. For the top layer it's a little different: Layer with noodles, pour the sauce on first, then layer with ricotta. This layer doesn't have any spinach. Sprinkle with a layer of olives and press it into the tofu.
Bake for 40 minutes, until the top is browned.
Instead of (or in addition to) olives, place thinly sliced fresh tomatoes on top.
Tuck big cloves of roasted garlic into the layers; use about a 1/4 cup
Saute some mushrooms and add them right under the spinach
Chop a roasted red pepper into the sauce