This recipe was born when I read the ingredients of the lasagna noodles I was going to use and discovered they had egg. But, why?! Good thing my Italian grandparents taught me to never run out of pasta. I find lasagna noodles to be a pain to work with anyway. If you want to be hard headed and still make lasagna use the lasagna noodles then.
Fennel seeds gives this dish such great flavor. It's one of the seasonings in Italian sausage, which is in traditional lasagna. Don't skip it, especially if you're feeding non-vegans. The other ingredient that makes this "lasagna" is the tofu ricotta. Again, don't skip these ingredients or it's just regular ass pasta.
You can serve this right out of the pot or you can transfer it to a baking dish. Bake, and then melt cheese on top at the end.
- 1 lb pasta of your choice
- 8oz firm tofu
- 2 - 15 oz cans of tomato sauce or one large jar of your favorite pasta sauce.
- 1 can of diced tomatoes (I like fire roasted petite diced)
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt divided plus more to taste
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning divided
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 cup peppers chopped
- 1 cup onions chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 5 cups of kale chopped in small pieces
- Oil for cooking the veggies
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Additional vegetables if desired. Try mushrooms or zucchini.
- Prepare your vegetables by washing throughly and chopping.
- Drain and press the tofu. Set aside.
- Prepare pasta according to package. Add at least 1 tsp salt to the water.
- Add tofu, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast in a food processor or blender. Blend until it starts to get smooth. It shouldn't be completely creamy. It should be ricotta texture, not cream cheese texture. Set aside.
- Place the fennel seeds on your cutting surface and roughly chop them. I do this since the seeds are big and my kids would be pissed if they bit into one. But, really it allows the flavor to really come out.
- Heat a large pan on medium, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onions, peppers and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the fennel seeds, 1 tsp Italian seasoning and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook for one minute.
- Add the kale. Cover and cook for 7 - 8 minutes. Stir occasionally and adjust heat if necessary so it doesn't burn.
- Add the fire roasted tomatoes, tomato or pasta sauce, and 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast. Simmer for a few minutes until the kale reaches the desired texture. We like ours soft.
- When the kale is almost done, fold in the ricotta, and add the mushrooms and/or zucchini if using. Once heated through, turn off the heat, cover and allow to sit for a few minutes. The zucchini and mushrooms will continue to cook.
- Taste and adjust seasoning. Depending on the sauce you used it may or may not need more salt.
- If serving right out of the pot, and if desired, sprinkle your favorite vegan cheese on top and cover until melted; or
- Pre-heat the oven to 375°. Transfer pasta to a 9x13 baking dish. Cover and bake for 15 minutes. The last few minutes of baking remove the cover so the top will start to crisp or add vegan cheese on top and place under the broiler for 1 - 2 minutes, but keep a close eye on it to avoid burning.