Love Day Lasagne

The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne,
Th’assay so hard, so sharp the conquerynge,
The dredful joye alwey that slit so yerne:
Al this mene I by Love, that my felynge
Astonyeth with his wonderful werkynge
So sore, iwis that whan I on hym thynke
Nat wot I wel wher that I flete or synke.

Okay, okay…I won’t subject you to any more of The Parliament of Fowls, but consider yourselves lucky because I’ve been known to read the whole thing on Valentine’s Day. Yes, I am a Chaucer geek, and in the days, so long ago, before I met Mark, I was particularly enamored not only of the idea that the first written association of St. Valentine’s Day with romantic love was made by my buddy Chaucer, but also that it ends with the female bird choosing none of her three tercel (eagle) suitors. (As I was picky about men myself and spent many Valentine’s Days alone.) I copied the above out of my battered but beloved Riverside Chaucer, but I’ve found both the original and a modern translation for you. Enjoy!

I’ve been fortunate to have a Valentine for the last eight years and I asked him what he’d like me to make for dinner tonight and he requested lasagne. It occurred to me that I’ve never featured lasagne here, so I documented it. Pour a glass of wine and sit down: this is going to be long. Not because it’s particularly hard to make lasagne, but because I took a gazillion photos….

Love Day Lasagne

1 lb lasagne noodles
1 1/2 quarts marinara sauce (recipe follows)
1/4 recipe cashew cheddar (from the Real Food Daily cookbook; the recipe is here. I only made half a recipe and barely used half of what I made.)
12 oz fresh spinach
1 lb vegan sausage (optional; Mark requested this)
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 recipe vegan ricotta (recipe follows)
vegan mozzarella and parmesan, for topping (optional)

Vegan Ricotta
1 lb tofu
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp miso
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
juice of 1/2 lemon

Marinara Sauce
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 head garlic, minced or pressed (I love garlic, reduce the amount if you’re a vampire)
2 28 oz cans diced or crushed tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional; I like a little punch)
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon

First, start the marinara sauce. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat a bit of olive oil then add the onions and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and saute another 5 minutes.

This is about the time Tigger was taking a shower in the sink.

He was really thirsty.

Anyway, when the onions and carrots are soft, add the tomatoes and bring to a boil.

Then add the rest of the ingredients except the lemon juice and turn down the heat until the sauce is just simmering. Allow to cook for half an hour.

While the sauce is simmering, fill a large stock pot with water. This is where I encountered a problem:

Is this normal?!?

When you are able to get rid of the cat, bring the water to a boil and add the lasagne noodles. I have never had luck with no-bake noodles, or not pre-cooking regular noodles, so I always cook my noodles. If you’ve had better luck than I have not cooking your noodles, go for it.

When the sauce if finished cooking, blend in batches in a blender (only after cooling!), or use an immersion blender. (This step is optional.) The stir in the lemon juice.

Chop the sun-dried tomatoes.

Crumble the vegan sausage.

To make the ricotta, place the tofu in a bowl and use your hands to crumble it.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Mix thoroughly; it’s easiest and most fun to just use your hands.

Unmold the cashew cheese.

The last time I made the cashew cheese, it firmed up enough to shred, but I had blender issues this morning and added more soy milk than called for, so it was too soft to shred. So shred it if you can, otherwise, you can just smear it on!

To prepare the spinach, stick it in a bowl and microwave it for 2 minutes. I had to do it in two batches because I didn’t have a large enough bowl to handle it all at once.



To assemble:
Spread about 1/4 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 9×12 lasagne pan.

Add a layer of noodles.

Add a layer of cashew cheddar.

Add a layer of sauce.

Add a layer of noodles.

Add a layer of sauce.

Add a layer of sausage and sun-dried tomatoes.

Add a layer of noodles.

Add a layer of sauce.

Add the spinach in a layer.

Add a layer of noodles.

Add the ricotta in a layer.

Add a layer of sauce.

Add a layer of noodles.

Add the rest of the sauce, making sure it slides down the sides of the lasagne.

Cover with foil.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for half an hour. Remove the foil.

Add shredded vegan mozzarella and/or parmesan.

Return to the oven, uncovered, and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Remove and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with fresh, crusty bread!



  1. mark Said,

    February 15, 2009 @ 2:17 am


    that’s an awesome picture of me!

  2. mark Said,

    February 15, 2009 @ 2:18 am

    err I meant

    that last one is awful

  3. Tina Said,

    February 15, 2009 @ 6:29 am

    Don’t you put a layer of noodles in the bottom ?

  4. Cindy Said,

    February 15, 2009 @ 11:23 am

    WOW! That looks fantastic!

  5. renae Said,

    February 15, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

    Tina, there is a layer of noodles on the bottom: right after the thin layer of sauce in the pan so they don’t stick.

    Cindy, thanks! It was pretty good.

    Mark, you look handsome in all the pictures.

  6. Courtney Said,

    February 15, 2009 @ 6:07 pm

    That looks fabulous! I love that you make your own sauce and cheese :o)


  7. Mandee Said,

    February 15, 2009 @ 7:30 pm

    Yum! That lasagne looks delicious and I love that your salt pig is in the shape of a pig 🙂

  8. Mom Said,

    February 15, 2009 @ 8:05 pm

    Did you get fresh water after you managed to remove Tigger from the pot?

  9. Jain Said,

    February 16, 2009 @ 8:24 pm

    “Is this normal?!?” I’m a dog person, but I think not!

    This is probably my all-time favourite meal but I talk myself out of it because pasta = carbs = hips. At least in my mind. I’m just swooning over that ricotta and the layer of fresh spinach, though, and I’m gonna make it, dammit!


  10. Rebecca Said,

    February 17, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

    Um. I love your cat. Awesome. I mean the lasagne looks really good, too. But your cat. Great.

  11. Stephen Said,

    February 18, 2009 @ 5:32 pm

    That lasagna tasted sooooo good. Better than one with meat I think!

  12. Basil Said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 8:15 am

    I made your lasana two night ago, and have eaten it for every meal since. You mut have a huge casserole dish, because about 1/3 of the ingredients did not fit. But it still tasted really good. And I love all the pictures- very entertaining.

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