This rich vegan lasagna primavera is made with layers of pasta, veggies, spinach tofu ricotta and cashew pesto cream sauce.
My Easter weekend will be all about Mexican food. Actually, we're not really doing anything for Easter, but my Mom's birthday celebration is also this weekend and she specifically requested my black bean sweet potato tostadas, which were a recent favorite. I'll take any excuse to remake a blog favorite, especially since I post so much that I rarely get a chance to remake anything, so I was happy to oblige.
Anyhow, with this weekend revolving around birthdays and Mexican food, it kind of slipped my mind that lots of my readers would be looking for some vegan Easter dinner inspiration. I've had this post hanging around for a bit, and it must be a good one, because my husband (who ate about a week's worth of leftovers for work lunches) asked me a bunch of times if and when I was going to post it. Today seemed perfect.
Years and years ago I made a white lasagna with veggies and loved it. That version involved large amounts of heavy cream. These days I use cashews for that kind of thing, and like magic, it ends up just as delicious as any dairy version I've ever had. Vivapura was nice enough to send me a big old bag of their Truly Raw Organic Cashews to try out. I normally buy raw cashews from the bulk bin at my local supermarket, and I have to say, these were much better. The flavor was lighter and milder and the nuts themselves were big, fresh, bright ivory in color, and blended up beautifully smooth and creamy. I'd definitely recommend getting your hands on a bag of them for this or your next cashew cream themed creation.
This lasagna comes together relatively easy. I say relative because it is a lasagna, so there's layering and chopping and all that. The sauce is super easy though, as it gets all of its flavor from conveniently ready-made pesto and involves throwing everything into a food processor. The tofu ricotta likewise involves some food processor blending, but you can work all that in batches, and to be totally honest, I didn't even clean the thing out between sauce and cheese.
I went with carrots and zucchini as my primavera veggies here, but peas, broccoli, peppers, and all kinds of other stuff would be nice too, so feel free to improvise.
Vegan Lasagna Primavera with Pesto Cashew Cream Sauce
- 9 lasagna noodles about 8 oz.
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 zucchini sliced
- 2 carrots chopped
For the Cashew Pesto Cream Sauce
For the Spinach Tofu Ricotta
- 3 cups fresh spinach leaves packed
- 1 lb. firm or extra firm tofu drained
- 1 onion quartered
- 3 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup unflavored soy milk
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain in a colander and toss with olive oil.
Preheat oven to 400° and lightly oil a 9 inch by 13 inch baking dish.
Place all ingredients for cashew pesto cream sauce in food processor bowl and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Taste test and adjust seasonings as needed. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
Place spinach into food processor bowl and pulse until finely chopped.
If you are using a relatively small food processor bowl, remove spinach and transfer to another container. If you've got room, simply add remaining tofu ricotta ingredients and pulse until mixture reaches the texture of ricotta cheese, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
Ladle a thin layer of cashew pesto cream sauce into baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles in a single layer, then top with half of your spinach tofu ricotta, followed by half of veggies, and a third of remaining pesto cashew cream sauce. Repeat for another layer, then finish with remaining three noodles and a layer of pesto cashew cream sauce.
Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes before cutting.
I don't recommend using no-boil noodles for this recipe, as they'll likely suck all of the moisture out of the sauce and tofu ricotta.