Looking for a lasagna recipe that tastes like the real deal? This one, from Mrs. Varda Epstein of Oorah’s Israel contingent, would have your Italian Bubby kvelling with pride.
The trick is in adding a layer of garlicky pureed tofu and deconstructing the sausage. If you know that sausages are basically ground meat with the addition of crushed red peppers and fennel seed, you’re halfway there. Actually, you’re more than halfway there because we’re giving you the entire recipe here. It’s so good you’ll be sorry you didn’t double the recipe.
Can take lots of standing on a hot plate or in a low oven!
For the sauce:
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
16 oz. can tomato sauce
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 tsp. ground fennel seed (you can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder)
1 Tbsp. dried basil
For the tofu layer:
12 oz. tofu, preferably soft Japanese-style
4 egg yolks
4 tsp. vegetable oil, such as corn or canola
1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
For the assembly:.
6-8 lasagna noodles, boiled and drained
1. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown meat and onion until meat is thoroughly browned.
2. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper, oregano, crushed red pepper, fennel seed and basil. Simmer uncovered for half an hour.
3. Place tofu, egg yolks, oil, garlic salt, and parsley in food processor or blender and process or blend until fairly smooth. Set aside 1/4 cup of tofu mixture to top the lasagna.
4. Grease a 1 1/2 quart rectangular baking dish. Line the bottom of the greased pan with 3-4 lasagna noodles. Spread with half the tofu mixture. Spread with half of the meat sauce. Repeat.
5. Take reserved 1/4 cup of tofu mixture and dot the lasagna with it here and there. Flatten the dollops with the back of a tablespoon dipped in water to moisten.
6. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes or until bubbly.