Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tofu Lasagna with Caramelized Calabaza

Leave it to me to get a little bored with the same-old, same-old recipes to start creating my own concoctions. 

That's right, I combined a couple of recipes for this one.  Frankly, it's about time.  And lucky for me it turned out GREAT!  I used the recipe for the caramelized calabaza (winter squash) from here and fused it with an old recipe for tofu-stuffed shells (the recipe for which I cannot find.  Boo).  So I improvised and figured out what went into the tofu mixture.  It originally came from an old tofu recipes book I had. Well, actually I still have the book I just can't seem to locate it. 

The combination of flavors and textures makes the work that goes into making this totally worth it.  Of course, if you really wanted, you could skip the whole tofu filling part and just use regular ricotta cheese as you would in a traditional lasagna.  But, I think the tofu adds a nice (different) dimension to it.



For the caramelized squash topping:

  • 9 Tbs. unsalted butter 

  • 1 kabocha, calabaza, butternut squash or any winter squash, 2 1/2 to 3 lb., peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes 

  • 2 Tbs. sugar 

  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth 

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 

  • 3 Tbs. finely diced shallots 

  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 

  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh sage 

  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice 

  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley 

  • 1 lb. fresh pasta sheets, cooked per boxed instructions

  • 1 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

    For the tofu filling:

  • 1 16oz block extra firm tofu, drained

  • Oregano, parsely, basil to taste

  • salt to taste

  • fresh chopped spinach (optional)

  • 1 tsp lemon juice


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

    Follow the directions for the squash mixture here from my previous post.

    In a food processor, mix together the tofu mixture until smooth.  Cook pasta sheets as per the directions on the box.  Butter a 9x13 baking pan so it's well greased.  Cover the bottom with pasta and fill with the tofu mixture.  Continue layering until the mixture is finished.  It's important to top the lasagna with the tofu mixture - otherwise the top pasta layer will get too crunchy as it bakes.

    Bake for about 20 minutes (you may want to keep it in a little longer - but start checking it at 20 minutes.  It's probably done.) and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

    Top with the caramelized squash mixture, sprinkle with parmesan cheese to taste and serve.  Enjoy!


    This is a fun dish to serve and to eat (I can't lie, it's really tasty). But I also have to come clean - it's work.  It takes a while to get everything together.  It probably took me over an hour to complete the whole thing.  You can probably make the squash mixture while the lasagna is in the oven.  That would help cut down on time.  So while I really like this meal and the combination of flavors and textures, I just won't be making it a lot.  I like easier dishes to make.  However, I do end up with leftovers and therefore meals for the following day or so are covered.

    By the way, this dish can also be made as tofu stuffed shells with the same caramelized squash on top.  That would be tasty too!

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