Published Nov 9, 2008

Healthy cooking can be fun. So can unhealthy eating! Everybody loves a good lasagna, but that Italian delectable is filled with fat and calories and not exactly great for the ‘ol ticker. So we whipped up a meatless, semi-cheesless, low-carb, and otherwise trend-compliant version, semi only because we added a bit of Pecorino for some richness. It came out light and delicious!

The cheese replacement is actually tofu, which we can make come out with the same texture as ricotta.The first step is to slice the tofu into thin strips, which we then pressed, weighted down by plates and books, to drain them of the extra liquid they contain and that would otherwise turn this dish into soup:

The pasta replacement is very thinly-sliced eggplant (we used the thinnest setting on our mandoline). Since you typically use dried pasta in Lasagna, it’s again very important to remove excess water from the eggplant. We used the old-fashioned method of sprinkling the eggplant with salt, letting it sit for 15-20 minutes, then blotting off all the water that’s beaded out. Since, I’ve been told that microwaving your eggplant does the same thing with a lot less labor and no need to rinse afterwards.

While your ingredients are draining start some marinara sauce with canned, crushed tomatoes; shallots; and garlic; and also slice some mushrooms thinly (they’ll add richness later).

When your tofu’s drained, mix it with finely-chopped basil, lemon juice, pecorino, and drained frozen spinach, then mash that mixture together into something with the texture of ricotta. We used basil and lemons from our backyard!

Now build the lasagna. Start with a layer of marinara:

Then a layer of eggplant, replacing the pasta:

Then a layer of tofu mix, replacing the ricotta:

Then a layer of mushrooms, which will cook up delicious and rich:

And so forth, until you’ve used up your ingredients. Top with marinara and a bit more pecorino for a nice little crust:

Bake it a while, and then enjoy it, hot and delicious! (But watch out; if you portion it when hot, it’ll fall apart. Portion your leftovers before you heat them and you’ll get a nice lasagna-looking stack!


wowsa. that looks good. might have to try it myself. i’ve made a lighter lasagna with low-fat ricotta and zucchini in place of the pasta, but this looks even lighter. how did the tofu work out? did it taste sorta cheesy?

It certainly had the right texture, and I think the little bit of pecorino brought enough cheese flavor to make it a success. I didn’t feel like “hey, I can hardly tell it’s not real lasagne!” but I did feel like “hey, this is delicious and exactly what I expected!”

It was really, really tasty and I have to second putting in the pecorino. The (lovingly gifted) basil and lemon added a lot of flavor as well. Also, I would definitely go for the mushrooms as they made it a little meaty. Mmmmmm, meat.

thanks, guys. this may just be my sunday night feast.