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  • Kathryn Fourie

Deconstructed Tofu Lasagne

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One of the best things I learned from Canadian Sam Turnbull's website was the fact that tofu was grate-able. I had never thought about grating tofu until coming across her recipe to make BBQ pulled 'chicken'. It's become a staple in our house, and now I use the grating technique for tofu on a regular basis when I want to substitute just about any kind of meat.

On Sunday I was feeling really keen for lasagne, but not keen for all the schlep involved in having to make a really big casserole dish full of it! So I opted for a deconstructed version that was far less fuss. This version also narrows in on reducing refined carbohydrates/wheat (like white pasta) - and I used the Truly Good Lasagne sheets for myself, while Mark enjoyed his tofu-mince on spaghetti! So it's completely versatile for any type of pasta.


Ingredients:


Serves 4

  • 1 x 350 - 450g block of firm tofu, drained

  • 1 x onion, diced

  • 2 x garlic cloves, diced

  • Italian Spice mixture: 1 tsp salt, 3 TBSP mixed herbs, 2 TBSP paprika, 2 TBSP onion powder, 2 TBSP garlic powder

  • Bunch of fresh basil

  • 1 x green chilli (optional)

  • 1 x tin chopped tomato

  • 1 x sachet of tomato paste

  • 1 TBSP sugar or 2 TBSP Agave or pinch of stevia

  • Olive oil

  • Lasagne sheets

  • Cashew Sauce (see recipe here) or a regular béchamel if you prefer

Instructions - Tofu Bolognese:

  1. Grate the block(s) of tofu up into a mixing bowl, some of it will crumble, that's all good.

  2. Combine the spice mixture in a small bowl or measuring jug and pour in +-120ml of olive oil or light oil like canola. Mix well into a paste.

  3. Gently mix the spice-paste into the grated tofu. A silicone spatula works well for this, otherwise use a wooden spoon - but be gentle as to not 'mash' the tofu.

  4. Spread the tofu onto a baking sheet and place into a preheated oven at 180°C to bake. The cooking process will remove a lot of the moisture from the tofu. After 20 minutes remove the tray, use a spatula turn the tofu mix. There should be nice crispy bits forming, place it back in the oven and let it continue to bake.

  5. While the tofu bakes, you can create the tomato sauce.

  6. Add the onions and garlic to a small sauce pan with a glug of olive oil, medium heat. Let it sauté until translucent.

  7. Season with salt and pepper and add extra mixed herbs if you like.

  8. Add the tin of tomato and tomato paste (approx 3 to 4 TBSP) to the onions and garlic and mix well. Add in sugar or Agave or pinch of stevia to counterbalance the acid in the tomato mixture.

  9. Let this simmer together and thicken up for around 10 minutes.

  10. When the tofu mix has shrunk quite substantially, turned a golden colour and is nice and crispy, remove it from the oven and scrape it all onto the tomato mix! Mix it well - and voila - you have tofu bolognese sauce!

Instructions - Deconstructed Lasagne:

  1. Using regular lasagne or the Truly Good lasagne sheets, bring a pot of water to boiling and add pasta sheets into the pot with a glug of oil. Work on 4 sheets per person for a large serving, or 2 sheets for small serving.

  2. When the pasta is cooked to you liking, remove it and let it drain in a colander.

  3. Working off a large serving (as per image) - lay two of the sheets down in a bowl like a plus sign (criss-cross).

  4. Spoon in a layer of tofu mince and top with freshly chopped basil. Then add thin layer of cashew sauce.

  5. Lay another criss-cross of lasagne sheets on top, and add the mince and cashew sauce again. This time sprinkle the basil on top of the cashew sauce, with the fresh green chilli. Grind some black pepper on top and you're good to go!

Notes:

  • You can serve the tofu mince sauce as is with spaghetti, penne or gnocchi, in a wrap, on toast - pretty much use it as you would a savoury mince bolognese!

  • If you're not in the mood for the cashew sauce, you can replace with a sprinkling of plant-based or regular cheese between layers - anything goes.

  • When making a small serving using two lasagne sheets, try and lay it into a small bowl so that it fits snugly and the fillings don't slide out.

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