Tofu Mozzarella Lasagna isn’t as heavy as a real lasagna, but it’s still super satisfying and leaves you feeling like a happy camper. I’m always trying to be creative about getting to eat tofu. Veggies are pretty easy, as long as they are raw or roasted, and I try to find a way to make everyday meals a little healthier. After being sautéed, the firm tofu gets a lot of flavor, and my kids love it.
Recipe + Styling + Photography by Natalie Chitwood
Sweet Paul: Tell me about this dish. What makes it comforting to you?
My Italian grandma, who loved noodle dishes and allowed me to grow up on buttered noodles, would be proud that in my adult life I learned the love of marinara and tomatoes. Tofu Mozzarella Lasagna, isn’t as heavy as a real lasagna, but it’s still super satisfying and leaves you feeling like a happy camper. I’m not supposed to eat dairy, so I used to make this dish without a top layer of mozzarella, which is still delicious, but the kids love the cheese, and I take my top layer off and give them extra. It’s a very sharing, communal meal and makes a great gift for friends and families that need a little extra love right now. If you don’t want to use organic tofu because of soy concerns, I highly recommend swapping it out with steamed broccoli, another favorite.
How are you dealing with these strange times?
Walking, lots of walking for my sanity. I’ll do multiple walks a day, some with my two boys, coffee walks with my husband, social distance walks with friends, and alone walks to think about the world. I work as a lifestyle photographer, specializing in people and food, I’ve been capturing passion projects of essential people giving back to the community, and that’s been so good for my creative soul. I tried to approach this comfort food idea as a regular person and not overstyle or prep anything.
How important has cooking been for you?
It’s definitely been super important to help get the
kids excited about ingredients, and they love baking, homemade lasagna, and pizza stone nights. If you don’t own a pizza stone, you’re missing out. It makes the best crust, as close to brick oven as you can get.
Any tips for the rest of us?
Spread kindness, even with a mask on. That smile with your eyes thing can go far.
What is the one good thing you can say about all this?
Extra family time, really being able to appreciate all that we had before Covid, and our health, the roof over our heads, and the food in the fridge we have now. And it’s been really beautiful watching everything bloom.
Makes one large lasagna
2 tablespoons olive oil
frozen herb cubes: 1 basil, 1 ginger, 2 garlic
1 brick/14 ounces firm tofu
salt and pepper
5 cups marinara sauce (we love Rao’s)
1 box/16 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles
mozzarella, shredded Parmesan cheese, grated
- Grab a skillet and sauté olive oil with frozen cubes of ginger, garlic and basil, then add firm tofu. I just crumble it with my hands, after I squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F, and get out the lasagna pan.
- This lasagna is all about a generous amount of sauce. Start with the first sauce layer. Then layer oven-ready lasagna noodles. These noodles make life so easy and really do turn from a hard piece of cardboard into a tasty noodle, compliments of all the sauce. Cover the noodle layer in sauce. Then add a layer of tofu. Repeat this until all noodles are layered within sauce and tofu.
- On the very top add a generous covering of shredded mozzarella and sprinkle with Parmesan.
- Put the lasagna in the oven uncovered, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Then switch the oven to broil to really brown the cheese and crisp it for another 3 to 5 minutes.
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