When Sia of Monsoon Spice announced JFI – Soya, I did my little happy dance (with J rolling his eyes). The reason for my excitement was the fact that we eat soy “meat” almost every week. Without that, I do not know how J and I could co-exist … at least without losing our sanity. 😉
For the dinner party last weekend I had the grandiose idea of making some lasagna, which of course I had never made before! I didn’t even know what ingredients to use for lasagna. But then I remembered seeing this at Meeta’s What’s for Lunch, Honey?. Both J and I, do not like mushrooms, so I thought of using the “ground beef” with some tomato sauce. Now, with the ingredients decided, the next challenge for us was to boil lasagna pasta. Neither J nor I had ever dealt with lasagna pasta sheets before that day. Thankfully we had a pot big enough to fit the pasta. Making (I mean boiling) pasta is almost always J’s job. I am too much of a klutz to handle hot water (that’s what he thinks). After J was done draining the pasta, I layered the lasagna and trust me this was the most fun part of the whole lasagna making process.
The lasagna tasted really good, with creaminess of pesto (Thanks Meeta!) and a slight tanginess from tomatoes. Everyone loved it and the fake meat did taste and feel like real meat. I cannot vouch for it, as I have not tasted meat ever. But judging from 4 people’s reaction, I guess it did taste like real meat.
Off this goes to:
1. Sia’s JFI – Soya event.
2. Dee of Ammalu’s Kitchen – Herb Mania – Basil
3. DK of Culinary Bazaar’s AWED – Italiano
Recipe: “Ground Beef” & Ricotta Pesto Lasagna
1 lb lasagna package
1 package Morning Star Meal Starters – Crumbles (Frozen 12 oz)
1 cup Marinara sauce for “meat” crumbles
2 cups additional Marinara sauce (I used Prego)
3 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cup ricotta cheese (I used low fat)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese + extra for sprinkling over lasagna
4 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp melted butter
salt per taste
pepper per taste
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
For pesto, add basil, garlic, pin nuts, olive oil, butter, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse till you get a creamy mix. In a big bowl mix the pesto and ricotta.
In a pan, heat the “meat” crumbles for about 2 mins. Add the marinara sauce to the pan and heat the sauce for 4-5 mins. Keep the mix aside.
Boil the lasagna pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta once its cooked.
To assemble the lasagna, butter a baking dish. Pour one cup of additional marinara sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Lay 3 sheets of lasagna on the marinara sauce. Cover the lasagna sheets with ricotta pesto mix. Lay 3 more lasagna sheets over pesto and then layer with “meat” mix. Cover with more lasagna sheets. Continue the layers till all ingredients are used up and ending with final layer of lasagna sheets. Pour 1 cup of additional marinara sauce over the lasagna sheets. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese over the marinara sauce.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 mins. Uncover the baking dish and bake again for another 20 mins. Enjoy!