I'd never made lasagne before, so I googled a couple of recipes for ideas. I knew I wouldn't have any trouble with vegan pasta, and I had a good idea for the cheese, but the sauce was eluding me.
Most of the recipes seemed to be overly complicated, so I just made one up. This one serves four, and came out with a good mix between flavours. I'm not the biggest fan of mushrooms, but cut them tiny, and you won't even notice that they're there. On the other hand, if you do like mushrooms, add a few more and cut them bigger.
Cook the pasta sheets while making the sauce. I used a baking dish that was 6 by 8 inches, and needed six pasta sheets to cover it twice. They stuck together when I boiled them, but I just pulled them apart. There's probably a better way of doing this.
For the sauce;
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
2/3 Cup of Button Mushrooms
Spices; I used a premixed spice called Garlic Italian, which contains basil, herb, sage, garlic, and lots of nummy things. I also added freshly ground black pepper, and some sea salt.
- Chop the onions and the mushrooms, and fry them in oil.
- When the onions start to go translucent around the edges, add the tomatoes in their juices, and simmer. Season to taste.
- Simmer for ten to twenty minutes, while the liquid reduces slightly.
To make the cheese topping;
1/2 Cup of Cashews and 1/2 Cup of Water, OR, 1 Cup of Milk Substitute
1 Packet of Tofu (between 300-350g).
1/2 Tsp Garlic Salt
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
- Blend the cashew till liquid, if using them, and then add the water. Otherwise, just pour the milk into a blender.
- Add the other ingredients and blend.
- Make a layer of sauce in the baking dish, and cover with pasta sheets. Add another layer, cover with more pasta sheets, then pour on some of the cheese mixture (I suggest using the rest to finish this recipe, and set into cheese, or just keep it as a cheese sauce). Salt and pepper the top, if you want. I did.
- Bake at gas mark 4, until the cheese mixture goes all bubbly and sets into a nice crust. About 20-25 minutes.
I served this with pre-mixed salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, and the Purple Foodies' garlicky baked fries.
As for my question...well, I'm wondering about flavour-signatures. That is, if I want to flavour plain tofu or homemade seitan to taste like, say, chicken or fish (or to complement the kind of things one would normally serve with those things), what kind of spices would I use? What do other people use to create different flavours like those?
For context, I've found that I can create an excellent vegan Sunday roast, but I'd really like to be able to flavour the seitan more specifically, so it goes better with the gravy and vegetables, and is more the kind of taste one would expect. I'm also quite interested in Cajun or Japanese recipes, so I'd find seafood flavours really useful, too.