Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fennel and Mushroom Lasagna

I love lasagna but I rarely have the time to make it. I have learned that, like pizza, you don't need to top it with cheese (or cheese substitutes) to make a great lasaga. I make mine nice and saucy so it does not dry out and have yet to be disappointed. The fennel is a nice flavour addition here, and the sausage and mushrooms provide great texture.

- 9 lasagna noodles
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved, and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 small red pepper, diced
- 1 small yellow pepper, diced
- 8 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
- 5 king oyster mushrooms, sliced
- 3 vegan Italian sausages, chopped
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 recipe tofu ricotta
- 2 jars spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. Cook lasagna noodles as per the directions on the box.
2. While noodles are cooking, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Saute fennel for 10 mins, until softened and lightly browned. Add peppers and saute for 3 mins.
3. Add mushrooms and spices to the pan and mix well. Add a few splashes of water to the pan to help steam the mushrooms. Cook for 5-7 mins, until mushrooms are soft and liquid is reduced. Add sausage and mix well. Remove from heat and let cool.
4. Assemble the lasagna. Cover the bottom of a large baking dish with spaghetti sauce and top with three noodles. Spread half of the tofu ricotta on top of the noodles, and top that with half of the mushroom mixture. Top with more spaghetti sauce and then three more noodles. Repeat.
5. Cover the top noodles with a thick later of spaghetti sauce. Cover dish with foil and bake for 60 mins. Remove foil and bake for 30 mins, or until sauce has thickened. Let sit for 20 mins before cutting and serving.