Whenever anyone asked me what my favorite food was growing up, I’d always answer lasagna. Though over time tastes have changed, and though lasagna isn’t my #1 anymore, it’s still up there in the top 5 all time amaze-meals. For the longest time, I thought I’d have to give up the traditional meaty lasagna and opt for the “weirdo” veggie lasagnas (which are delicious in their own right, don’t get me wrong), but thanks to Beyond Meat’s non-beef ground beef, along with Miyoko Schinner’s Artisan Vegan Cheeses, I can combine the two into the ultimate lasagna, reminiscent of my childhood.
Side note – per my previous post – Miyoko has opened a vegan cheese shop in the Bay Area – but sells her crazy amazing and delicious cheeses online!! I had the privilege of meeting her, as well as sample some of her cheeses, at a Millennium restaurant wine maker dinner that featured some of her creations. Let me tell you – OMG, she is a genius of cultured nut products. She makes it the right way – actual aging and culturing of the cheese instead of chemically “aging” cheeses like you find on the shelf in the store (like Daiya, which I just cannot get behind because it doesn’t taste like cheese, and is kinda gross). So go visit her store at Miyoko’s Kitchen. At the time of writing and making this lasagna, she hadn’t started shipments of her cheese yet, so I had to make my own. However, the next time I try this lasagna, I will use one of her cheeses! It supposedly melts pretty well.
Ok, back to the lasagna. You can make and assemble this a day or two in advance, and the leftovers freeze really well, so don’t hesitate to make the whole thing.
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 t oregano
- 2 t marjoram
- 1/2 t thyme
- 1 t basil
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- small can tomato paste (6 oz? you know, those tiny ones)
- 1 package Beyond Meat ground “beef” (optional, but delicious; if omitting, use an additional 14oz can tomatoes)
- 1/2-1 bunch parsley, chopped (roughly 1 C)
- 2-3 C summer squashes, chopped (I used zucchini and yellow squash)
- 1.5 large onion, sliced thinly into half or quarter moons
- vegan ricotta (you can check out the recipe I used in my ricotta stuffed dates post)
- vegan mozzarella (optional) – I use Miyoko’s meltable mozz from her cookbook, Artisan Vegan Cheese
- vegan parmesan cheese
- 1 package lasagna noodles (gf or regular; whichever you use), par-boiled (according to the box directions)
In a large pot, heat 1-2 T olive oil. Sautee the diced onions until they start turning golden brown. Add the garlic and spices, cook another 1-2 minutes. Add the paste and heat another 2-3 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, “beef,” and parsley. Let it simmer about 20 minutes.
In a skillet, sautee the squash and sliced onions until softened. Set aside.
Now to layer – in a large baking dish (9×13) layer in the following order:
Sauce, noodles, squash/onions, ricotta, mozzarella, noodles, sauce, squash/onions, ricotta, noodles, sauce, mozzarella, parmesan.
At this point, you can cover with foil and refrigerate (or freeze) until you’re ready to bake (it’ll be fridge worthy for about 2-3 days). Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 for 30 minutes with the foil on, then remove the foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until bubbly and browning at the edges. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve traditional, with a hearty slice of garlic bread and a balsamic dressed salad. It transports me back to my childhood!