mmm hmmm, lasagna. again. its already “fall” again in minneapolis; even though i was sweating my ass off in the 94 degree heat at the fair, by the following wednesday the temps dropped into the low 60′s & 70′s. tear. i honestly hope that it warms up for at least a few more days, as i have a considerable amount of peppers and tomatoes that are thisclose to being ripe. and i want to eat them! the first night that we had a big chill run through the house, i had another craving for lasagna. i also wanted to tinker with my pasta dough recipe, and i wanted to see what would happen when raw cashew cheeze met the oven; an hour and a half later (due to tinkering endlessly) i had a creamy, ridiculously rich lasagna that was incredibly satisfying. if full strength cashew cheeze is too rich for your palette, try cutting it in half with mashed up, firm tofu, and let it hang in the fridge (preferably overnight) before using. this recipe uses red sauce only as an accent-i use a tad to keep the pasta from sticking, and to serve the lasagna on top of. i will even say that i think i prefer my lasagna this way! marinara can be so sweet, and so overpowering, and with cashew cheeze’s delicate flavor you may want to skimp on the sauce, too!
Cashew Heirloom Lasagna
makes 4-6 servings
1/2 pound fresh pasta recipe here*, rolled out to the #5 setting, and cut into 9 sheets fitting an 8×8 brownie pan -or- 9 whole wheat lasagna sheets from the box
2 Large Heirloom Tomatoes, i used striped germans
15 oz can tomato puree, doctored up any way you like with dried herbs
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
1 medium red onion, quartered and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups raw cashews
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbs mellow white miso paste
salt to taste
* i tinkered with the recipe, adding ground flaxseeds to replicate egg dough, about 1/2 tbs per 1/4 c h20. this will make your dough hold more water so you may have to keep adding in additional flour as your roll. i thought the flavor was still mild, but it will help pump up your fiber intake-so experiment!
preheat your oven to 375, and get a large pot of water on to boil.
first, the cheeze. place your cashews into a bowl and cover with one inch of water. soak for one hour minimum while you prep everything else.
start the pasta. roll out your pasta to the #5 setting, and cut sheets to fit an 8×8 cake pan. mine were a bit wide and overlapped, and it worked just fine.
filling! slice the tomatoes into 1/4″ rounds and lay onto paper towels to help soak up water. pour a few tablespoons olive oil into a large skillet and heat over a medium flame. start sauteing your onions until soft and starting to turn golden. add in the garlic and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid. add a pinch of salt and raise the heat to cook off the water. now toss in the zucchinis, adding another pinch of salt if necessary to help evaporate the liquid. hint-the wider the pan, the easier this will be. set aside once nice and browned.
cheeze! drain off the cashew water and reserve. toss the nuts, miso, and nooch into your food processors work bowl. pulse until ground, turn the machine on, and stream in enough cashew water to make a paste the consistency of thin frosting. or pudding. or cake batter. you get it.
pasta. is your water boiling yet? if so, add your pasta 3 sheets at a time and cook until floating (if fresh) and remove to a counter top lined in foil or waxed paper. otherwise, cook the boxed stuff until firm but pliable (al dente).
assemble! pour about half of your marinara into the bottom of your casserole/cake pan. layer 3 noodles on top, and cover them with a generous layer of cashew cheeze. arrange 1/3 of your tomato slices on top and sprinkle with 1/2 of your sauteed veggies. this time, repeat the layer without marinara. now add the last layer of pasta, another thick layer of cheese, and decorate with remaining slices of tomatoes. sprinkle with salt and pepper. cover in foil, and bake for 35 minutes, uncover and bake 10 minutes more, or until tomatoes get wrinkly and start to brown. let rest 10 minutes before cutting. warm up the extra marinara to pool on your plate for serving.
vegan cashew tomato lasagna-post baking
a slice of vegan heaven