4 cloves garlic
1-2 carrots, diced or half moons
1 lb Mushrooms, coarse chop
48oz canned tomatoes
4T tomato paste
1 T maple syrup
Fresh tomatoes, sliced
2 Tsp dried oregano
1 Tsp dried basil, or top with fresh basil leaves
Ground pepper and salt to taste
Total time: 1.5 HOURS (IF RICOTTA IS MADE AHEAD OF TIME)
Sauté onion in olive oil in a large skillet until translucent, then add garlic, carrots a, mushrooms and other veggies if using. Add canned tomatoes and pasted, maple syrup, fresh pepper and other seasonings.
Use your favorite marinara sauce and dress it up with sautéed veggies of choice – spinach, zucchini, squash, or experiment with what is in season.
CASHEW RICOTTA CREAM
2 cups raw cashews, soaked, rinsed and drained*
1 cup water
2 T apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1-2 T Nutritional yeast, optional for an extra cheesy flavor
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground mustard seed
*If short on time, use the quick soak method – boil water to soak cashews for 5 min, then rinse and drain well.
CASHEW RICOTTA CHEESE DIRECTIONS
Add all ingredients and half the water to a Vitamix blender, and start to blend, adding the remaining water as needed to achieve a creamy consistency. Scrape the sides of the blender to incorporate all cashew pieces and blend again until silky smooth. Set aside until ready to assemble the lasagna.
Store any unused bechamel in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
SPECIAL DIET INFORMATION
For nut-free version, use 1 package of silken tofu and one regular tofu, crumbled, adding water as needed to thin if needed so it will spread.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread a layer of sauce on the bottom of a square baking dish, then layer lasagna noodles over the top. Add another layer of sauce and noodles. Then add a layer of creamy cashew ricotta, another layer of noodles and a final layer of sauce and add thinly sliced tomatoes to top the lasagna (optional).
Sprinkle salt and pepper, then cover with parchment paper (or use foil, being careful not to touch the tomatoes/ sauce with the foil) and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes until starting to brown nicely.
Remove from oven and let cool for up to 30 minutes or longer for best results when cutting and serving.
Garnish with a drizzle of cashew ricotta cream and fresh basil leaves.