lasagnerolls

by Isa Chandra

Makes 10 rolls
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Active time: 45 minutes

12 oz lasagna noodles

For the white sauce:
1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the pesto:
2 cloves garlic
3 cups fresh basil, loosely packed
1/2 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), plus extra for garnish
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Several dashes fresh black pepper

For the ricotta:
1 14 oz extra firm tofu, crumbled
1/4 cup pesto
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the spinach:
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz baby spinach

Make the noodles:
Bring a big pot of salted water to boil and cook the noodles al dente, stirring occasionally to make sure they don’t stick together. If they seem to be, use metal tongs to gently peel them apart. Once cooked, drain them in a colander and run them under plenty of cold water to make sure they stop cooking and don’t stick together.

Make the white sauce:
Drain cashews. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until completely smooth. This could take 1 to 5 minutes depending on your blender. Scrape down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula every minute or so to make sure you get everything. Set aside.

Make the pesto:
Place garlic cloves in a blender and pulse a bit to chop. Add basil, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice salt and pepper and blend. It should still have some texure and not be completely smooth. Thin with a few tablespoons of water to get it into a spreadable consistency.

Make the ricotta:
In a medium mixing bowl, mash tofu with your hands or an avocado masher, until it resembles ricotta cheese. Mix in pesto, nutritional yeast, olive oil, lemon juice and salt until well combined. Set aside.

Make the spinach:
Preheat a large heavy bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium low heat. Add the olive oil and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add spinach and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Assemble and bake:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish with olive oil.

Spread 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each lasagna noodle, leaving a little room around the side edges and 1/2 inch at each end.

Scatter about 3 tablespoons of spinach mixture over the ricotta. Starting at the bottom end, roll noodle up and place, seam side down, in the casserole dish. Continue with all remaining noodles. Pour the white sauce over the rolls in thick ribbons.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until edges are lightly browned and white sauce is thickened. If after 25 minutes the rolls are not browning but the edges are crispy, place under a broiler on low heat for a minute or two, keeping a very close eye so that they don’t burn.

Remove from oven and smother on remaining pesto. Garnish with additional pumpkin seeds and serve!

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