OMG. SO GOOD!
And that pretty much sums it up.
This recipe requires a few more steps than many, because there’s no way around it…we need lots of layers.
Starting with a great red sauce and cooked whole grain pasta, we’ll be adding layers of delicious creamed greens, and a special creamy cashew cheese sauce with fresh basil that is amazing. I think it’s worth every loving moment to create this creamy, dreamy wonder .
When time allows, I recommend preparing at least some of these elements earlier in the day. That way, when it’s time for building the layers, everything comes together quickly, and all that will be left to do is slide the pan into a hot oven and pour yourself a glass of wine.
CREAMY VEGETABLE LASAGNE
1 quart of homemade Marinara or Pomodoro Sauce (or 1 jar of your favorite no-oil-added tomato-based pasta sauce)
8 ounces whole wheat lasagne noodles
2 shallots OR 1 medium onion, sliced
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup white wine
8 cups of fresh dark leafy greens of choice, chopped (I like a mixture of baby kale, baby spinach, and arugula)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste
Creamy Cashew Cheese Sauce with Fresh Basil
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (loosely packed), minced
Have handy one quart of red pasta sauce, and set aside.
Cook the lasagne noodles, and set aside.
To prepare Creamed Greens, place the shallots in a hot skillet. Dry-sauté over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Once they begin to caramelize, add the vegetable broth and wine, and simmer until the shallots are tender. Then add the greens, combine well, and cook for a few minutes until wilted. Add nutritional yeast and nutmeg.
Meanwhile, in a high powered blender (like a Vitamix), blend 1/2 cup cashews with 1/2 cup water, until very smooth and creamy. Mix the cashew cream into the pan of hot greens, and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and set aside.
To prepare Creamy Cashew Cheese Sauce with Fresh Basil, place 1/4 cup cashews, 1 cup hot water, tapioca flour, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a high powered blender. Process for a minute or so, until very smooth. Pour the mixture into a small skillet or saucepan, and bring the heat to medium high. Stir continuously for a few minutes, until the sauce begins to look like a topping of thick melted cheese. Remove from heat, stir in the minced fresh basil, and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Into a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish, layer 1 cup of sauce and spread on bottom of the pan evenly. Add a layer of cooked noodles (about a third of the full amount), then another cup of sauce. Spread evenly. Add 1/2 of the creamed greens, and spread evenly.
Add another layer of cooked noodles (half of the remainder), then another cup of sauce, and the rest of the greens.
Layer on the remainder of the noodles, and then the rest of the tomato sauce. Finish with the Creamy Cashew Cheese Sauce with Fresh Basil.
Cover the baking pan with foil, and bake lasagne for 25 minutes. Then carefully uncover the pan, and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the top begins to turn golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.