Make Ahead

Sneaky Basic  Lasagna

June 11, 2013
Author Notes

No apologies: this lasagna is really basic and ready for frou-frou. Fresh basil, homemade sauce, sausage, roasted vegetables, there are awesome things to add. If you don't tell your fellow diners it contains tofu they will never know. Shhhhh........ The following recipe makes one 9x13 lasagna with a little leftover (I usually put together a tiny extra one for my neighbor). If you have a deep 9x13 or a slightly larger pan it will work perfectly. If you don't mind the carbs then make it four layers of pasta; if you prefer less then make it three layers. The remaining sheets of pasta can be broken to fill any gaps if desired.
It is one of my go-to recipes for a family meal. Sometimes I heat up the sauce to shorten the bake time. —Sadassa_Ulna

  • Makes one deep 9x13 lasagna and maybe more
Ingredients
  • "Ricotta" filling
  • 1 one-pound block tofu (not silken, not extra firm)
  • 1 16 oz. container cottage cheese, (any kind, fat-free or 4%)
  • 1-2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • The Rest of the Parts
  • 9-15 sheets no-boil lasagna (I like Barilla, very thin)
  • 3 26 oz. jars marinara sauce, (or lots of homemade)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella (or more if you like)
  • 2-3 tablespoons parmesan for the top
  • cooked crumbled sausage, optional
  • 1-2 teaspoons butter or oil
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Make the "ricotta" filling : Cut tofu into cubes and allow to drain for a few minutes. Puree in a food processor until very smooth; add remaining ingredients except egg. Puree until mixed, then add egg last, and pulse until just mixed.
  2. Pour a few tablespoons of sauce into the pan to cover the bottom; lay three sheets of lasagna noodles with gaps to expand. Spread about a third of filling mixture to cover the pasta, then sprinkle with one quarter of the mozzarella. Pour sauce over all to really cover thoroughly; sprinkle with one third of the sausage if using.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Repeat the above layers two more times. i.e. three sheets pasta, then 'ricotta," then mozzarella, then sauce, then sausage. Break up extra sheets of pasta to fill gaps that are really big, especially if your pan is larger at the top than the bottom like my pyrex pan is.
  5. Place three more sheets pasta on top - or skip this if desired. Then cover with more sauce, the last of the mozzarella, then the parmesan.
  6. Butter or oil up a piece of foil and cover the pan. Bake about 30-40 minutes; then remove foil and bake another 10-20 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool for a good 15-20 minutes before cutting into.

See Reviews

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • TheWimpyVegetarian
    TheWimpyVegetarian
  • Lynn D.
    Lynn D.
Review
Sadassa_Ulna

Recipe by: Sadassa_Ulna

Growing up I was the world's pickiest eater, that is, until my children were born. Karma. Neither of my parents were much into cooking; it was the height of eating fat-free or anything with oat bran added. I taught myself some basics, mostly baking, following the guidelines of a well-worn copy of Joy of Cooking. I was a ballet dancer and a teacher suggested I lose weight. As I began reading about diet and nutrition I became interested in natural foods, which led to a job at a macrobiotic natural foods market in Center City Philadelphia; this was way before Whole Foods came to the area. I learned a lot about food in general. I ate strictly vegan for a while, although I don't now, but I still like it when a recipe can taste great without butter or bacon! In short, my approach to cooking is idiosyncratic, and I don't know very much about cooking meat or proper technique. I love to bake and I am still working on expanding my palate and my repertoire. The hardest part is getting the whole family to try new things! So aside from my food status, I am an architect who likes to garden and play music. I'm married with two kids, and I hope to get a dog someday.