Back at the end of June (I checked Foursquare [it does have a point!]), my dad came to visit me in New York. If you want to know how much of a trooper my dad is, one night he agreed to take me out to a raw vegan restaurant in Gramercy Park that I was dying to go to. Typically I am dying to go to raw vegan restaurants, yes. To put it plainly, Pure Food and Wine is the greatest place on earth. Fuck you, Disney World. Even my dad, a meat-eating resident of New Orleans (something tells me a raw vegan restaurant would do awesome there – eep), thought the food was amazing. And he paid. Trooper.
The standout, at-least-one-person-at-your-table-has-to-order-it, miraculous entree is the Zucchini, Local Heirloom Tomato Lasagna. While I wasn’t able to find the exact recipe, I did find a variation from New York Magazine that I’m assuming was on an earlier menu. And I’ve been craving it ever since. 7 weeks is a long time to crave something. Especially when you’re counting the weeks.
Because their full lasagna recipe sounds exhausting, I just made Pure Food and Wine’s vegan pine nut based ricotta cheese. And I made a lot of it. So, with fresh bought wonton wrappers and a mini springform pan in hand, I decided to whip up a ridiculously easy vegan lasagna of my own. Oh and I cooked it. Because I play by my own rules. And sometimes I like it when things are warm. Just sayin.
Vegan Ricotta and Spinach Lasagna for Two…or One Really, Really Hungry Vegan.
Ricotta recipe poached from Pure Food and Wine
Vegan Ricotta Ingredients (you’ll use about ⅓ of this later on):
- 1 ⅔ cups pine nuts (I meant to buy 2 cups but holy crap pine nuts are expensive and holy crap I’m bad at eyeballing so I adjusted because I’m a champion.)
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Optional addition: some basil
For the lasagna:
- ⅓ Vegan Ricotta recipe
- 9 wonton wrappers (scour your local Chinese grocer for the eggless variety, get your hands on some tofu skins, or make them yourself)
- ¼ cup pasta sauce (Dell’amore Artichoke and Caper Sauce is my jam)
- 3 oz steamed spinach
- a 4″ spring-form pan
Make your vegan ricotta, dreamers:
Soak the pine nuts for at least an hour in a jar or something with about an inch of water topping the nuts.
Drain the nuts and stick them in a food processor. Add the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt. Pulse, pulse, pulse to mix up the goodness. Slowly add 5-6 tablespoons of water as you further process the ingredients until you get a fluffy (hey, New York Magazine said it, not me), ricotta-like consistency.
Vegan lasagna, assemble!
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Get out the 4″ spring-form pan that you of course, clearly, definitely own. Spray it lightly with cooking spray. Arrange 4 wonton papers on the base of the pan so that the bottom is as totally covered as you can get it and there is a tiny bit of overlay coverage up the pan, along the edges. Spread 1/3 of the sauce on the wrappers. Spread 1/3 (of your 1/3 of the recipe) vegan ricotta on the sauce. Top with 1/3 of the spinach. Place two wonton wrappers to cover the spinach. Top with another 1/3 of sauce, 1/3 vegan ricotta, 1/3 spinach. Then do that again, without the wonton wrapper layer separating the layers. Now top with the final 3 wonton wrappers to cover the top of the lasagna. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. If you’re like me, you’ll cut this in half to make two giant portions and you still probably won’t finish half in one sitting. If you are not like me and you’re like, a boy or something or maybe you haven’t eaten in a week, you’ll eat the whole damn thing. And I’ll be impressed.