RED AND WHITE LASAGNA

RED AND WHITE LASAGNA

Lasagna noodles layered with a Tofutti ricotta and cream cheese filling, sweet roasted peppers, and a garlic, tarragon and fennel tomato pepper sauce. The best of white and red in one casserole! Has a sharp cheese flavor the whole world will love!

Serves 8-12

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Filling: You can make the filling 1-2 days before assembling lasagna.

16 oz. container Tofutti Better Than Ricotti Cheese

8 oz. Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, plain

12.3 oz. extra firm Silken-type tofu, rinsed

1 T. powdered garlic

2-1/2 t. salt

1 T. sugar

1 t. dry mustard

2 t. dried tarragon

1 t. dried basil

1/4 t. red cayenne pepper

1/4 t. nutmeg

2 T. juice of fresh lemon

1/3 c. instant potato flakes

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ‘filling’ ingredients in mixing bowl, one at a time, mashing with potato masher, then stirring with spoon after each addition till smooth. Cover and refrigerate till ready to use.

Sauce: You can make the sauce 1-2 days before assembling lasagna.

12 oz. jar sweet red roasted peppers including liquid

1 c. canned coconut milk, at room temperature; shake well to mix solids with liquid before measuring

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

5 fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped

28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes including liquid

1 t. garlic powder

2 t. ground fennel seed

1 t. dried basil

1 t. dried tarragon

1/2 t. dried oregano

1/4 t. ground allspice

1/4 t. red cayenne pepper

1 t. salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

6 oz. can tomato paste

Place roasted peppers plus liquid from jar and coconut milk in blender container. Blend till smooth. Transfer to large skillet, over medium-low heat.

Add remaining ‘sauce’ ingredients to skillet, stirring well after each addition till smooth. Cook, over low heat, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Turn heat off and adjust for salt.

Lasagna assembly:

9 x 13 inch baking dish

16 oz. pkg. lasagna noodles; cook in lots of sufficiently salted boiling water till tender; drain, rinse, then hang over sides of empty pasta pot

the equivalent of 4 red roasted peppers, 1 for each layer, torn into bite-size pieces

filling

sauce

about 3 T. tub margarine, softened at room temperature for topping

1st layer:

Evenly spoon about 1 cup sauce into bottom of 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Place 3 lasagna noodles side by side over sauce.

Spoon 1/3rd of the filling evenly over noodles.

Top filling with roasted pepper pieces, from 1 pepper, equally spaced.

2nd layer:

Top peppers with 3 more noodles, 1/3rd more filling and 1 more roasted pepper, torn into pieces.

3rd layer:

Top peppers with 3 more noodles and 1 more roasted pepper (skip the filling on this layer).

Evenly spoon about 1 cup sauce over the peppers.

4th layer:

Top sauce with 3 more noodles, the last 1/3rd of the filling and 1 last roasted pepper, torn in pieces.

5th layer:

Top peppers with 3 more noodles followed by about 1-1/2 cups sauce.

Dot the top of the casserole with 9 teaspoons softened margarine, equally spaced (3 per lasagna strip). Then smear each margarine dot ever so lightly, with a table knife.

Cover tightly with foil. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10-15 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let set a few minutes before cutting to serve.

Notes: Everybody loves lasagna, but nobody likes to make it. If you know you’re going to be making it, and most people do, then why not break up the process by making the filling one day, the sauce the morning of or the night before, so that when you assemble, all you have to do is cook the noodles, assemble and bake?

Nobody likes to cook lasagna noodles either. I’m not sure the why of this, because they’re like any other noodle. Maybe they’re afraid of breaking the noodles. So what if a few break, you won’t be using them all anyways. And even if they all broke, which would be impossible unless intentional, then who’s going to know? They’re tucked in a casserole oozing with cheese and sauce. This is an easy lasagna to make. Do yourself a favor and give yourself a treat!

There’s an added bonus to letting the ‘filling’ set overnight in the refrigerator. The ‘cheese filling’ ripens. That’s a good thing. Two days? that’s good too.

The instant potato flakes work expertly to bind the filling, not too thin, not too thick.

Unused noodles: Stack unused lasagna noodles; cut crosswise into strips, then toss with leftover sauce to have the next day.

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