After watching Nigella Lawson make a Venetian Lasagna on the NBC Today Show, I was inspired to come up with my own variation, vegan (easily made vegetarian) of course. ;) I greatly simplified the recipe, using primarily the idea of using layers of polenta to make a fantastic, creamy-tasting lasagna!
(inspired by Nigella Lawson's Venetian Lasagna)
2-4 c tomato sauce(depending on how much sauce you prefer), jarred or homemade, any flavor
1/2 c water
1 vegetable bouillon cube, or enough vegetable broth or water to make up the polenta following the instructions on the package
2 c unprepared polenta
1 T vegan butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T dried parsley
1 t each of dried basil and oregano
2 t kosher salt or 1 t table salt, or to taste
1 c vegan Parmesan cheese
2 medium-large carrots, peeled and cut into thin discs (any veggies would work)
1c shredded vegan mozzarella cheese (I suggest Follow Your Heart brand or Daiya)
*You will also need parchment paper and a 9x11" or 8x8" glass baking dish, lightly oiled.
If making your own sauce, do so first and set aside.
Prepare for making lasagna layers by tearing off 2 pieces of parchment paper a little larger than the size of the lightly-oiled pan you are using. Set aside.
If using a bouillon cube, dissolve in the specified amount of water, or measure out veggie broth or water. Follow the preparation instructions for the polenta you have on hand, using a medium-large saucepan.
Stir as instructed with wooden spoon, and when the polenta has thickened, add, stirring well as you go, the tablespoon of butter, garlic & herbs, salt, and 1 cup of Parmesan. Taste to see if you want any more seasoning. The polenta is finished once thick and coming away from the sides of the saucepan.
When polenta is ready, immediately and quickly pour a thin layer evenly into the bottom of your baking dish. Divide the rest quickly into more thin layers, all the same size, on the sheets of parchment paper. Obviously, the layer depth will be thinner if you have chosen a larger pan. As you drop each layer, use a silicone spatula run under cold water to spread it evenly to the same size as your pan. The polenta will set almost instantly, so you have to work quickly. Allow to set further and cool.
When you are ready to assemble the lasagna, preheat the oven to 400°F. In your polenta-lined baking pan, spoon 2/3c (or other preferred amount) of sauce over bottom. Add one layer of carrot slices and a light sprinkle of vegan mozzarella.
Carefully hold the parchment paper with the next layer of polenta over the pan. Peel back paper as you set the polenta on top.
Carefully peel next polenta layer off of paper with fingers or spatula and move to pan.
If any breaks into pieces, simply reassemble in pan.
Add another layer of 2/3c sauce, carrots, and sprinkle of mozzarella.
Top with the final layer of polenta from the third pan, then remaining sauce and rest of mozzarella.
Bake for 1 hour until bubbling and melty, even in middle. Allow to set for 10-15 minutes, then serve. So Good! :)