Thursday, February 2, 2012

Post-Kid Kitchen: Lazy Lasagna with Lima Ricotta

This is not really lasagna at all. I love lasagna, but I don't always feel like messing around with precise layers of this and that. Sometimes I just want all that baked pasta-dish goodness without worrying about making a dinner that looks pretty.

Tofu has quite a monopoly on vegan ricotta recipes, but making a soy-free vegan ricotta is very doable. I have a cashew ricotta recipe that I adore; sadly, it's not the healthiest of things (and it requires agar flakes, which I don't always have on hand). Inspired by Cathe Olsen's Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, I decided to try making a vegan ricotta from lima beans. Cathe calls for mature lima beans in her recipe, but I had a bag of baby limas in my freezer and opted to use them instead. The end result was bright green, and not super ricotta-y, but really yummy! I'll definitely make it again.

I threw my "lazy lasagna" together with some gluten-free penne that was crowding up my pantry, but almost any smallish pasta shape would work.

Baked Pasta with Lima Ricotta
Extreme close-up to show the ricotta greenness.

Lazy Lasagna with Lima Ricotta
Serves 8

12 oz. gluten-free pasta
28 oz. marinara sauce (about what you get when you make homemade marinara from a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes—or be super lazy and use a 28 oz. can of already-ready marinara)
2 small zucchini, diced
16 oz. baby lima beans, thawed if frozen
2 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a food processor, combine lima beans, lemon juice, garlic, salt, oil, and nutritional yeast. Process until well blended, adding splashes of water if needed.

Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish with about a third of the marinara. Add about half the pasta. Sprinkle zucchini and lima ricotta over pasta, and top with remaining pasta and marinara. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 20-30 minutes, to your preferred level of pasta crispiness.



Mama Smith said...

This sounds really yummy! I would never think of substituting limas for ricotta. I'm not vegan (just vegetarian) but the recipes are always so cool- almost like science figuring out what works!

Allison the Meep said...

I love vegan recipes that aren't all in your face and "SOY SOY SOY!!" This recipe sounds awesome and I will give it a whirl soon.


Allison, that's sung to the tune of Motley Crue's "Girls, Girls, Girls," is it not?

Tara said...

Alright this looks delicious and perfectly suited to my level of lazy this week. I would never think to sub lima beans for ricotta, but it sounds really good. (So happy food isn't making you nauseated any more! Yay food!)

Allison the Meep said...

True story.