Zesty Pesto and Artichoke Ricotta Lasagna

It seems like there are a lot of faux ricottas out there.  I challenged myself to think of a faux ricotta that was not made from tofu or nuts, and came up with artichoke ricotta.  It's soy free, nut free, and totally plant based!  Having experimented with it for a previous recipe, I decided it might be worthwhile to whip up a summer lasagna that incorporated it.

Garden tomatoes, fresh basil, and a tasty, zesty pesto.  The pesto's secret ingredient, a jalapeño!  It brings the perfect amount of heat to this light, delicious meal.  Artichokes are whipped to perfection in a food processor with garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, and a touch of shredded vegan cheese (in my case, Daiya Mozzerella Shreds).  Not only that, it's incredibly easy to make!

For a variation, add some white beans to the spinach and artichoke layer of the lasagna.  Or add white beans to the top with the tomatoes :)

Zesty Pesto and Artichoke Ricotta Lasagna

Zesty Pesto and Artichoke Ricotta Lasagna

Zesty Pesto:

3 cups OR a 4 ounce package of fresh basil

½ cup flat leaf parsley

¼ cup raw pinenuts

3 garlic cloves

¼ cup lemon juice

1 ½ tsp fresh lemon rind

3 Tbsp nutritional yeast

½-1 jalapeño (if you are sensitive to heat, remove the seeds)

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup water

Salt 

Black pepper

Artichoke Ricotta:

3 8 ounce cans of artichokes in water, drained

3 garlic cloves

⅓ cup nutritional yeast

½ cup shredded non-dairy cheese (I used Daiya Mozzerella Shreds)

Lasagna:

7-8 lasagna noodles

1 cup fresh spinach, packed

1 large heirloom tomato

1 cup shredded non-dairy cheese

Flat leaf parsley, to top

Zesty Pesto

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease an 8" X 11" pan, and set aside.  Add everything listed under "Zesty Pesto" to a food processor, and blend until 90% smooth.  Spoon into a mixing bowl and set aside.  Rinse out the food processor.

Artichoke Ricotta

2. Add everything listed under "Artichoke Ricotta" to a food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Taste, and adjust seasoning (salt?  nutritional yeast?).  Set aside.

Zesty Pesto and Artichoke Ricotta Lasagna

3. Add ½ cup zesty pesto and 1 Tbsp water to the bottom of the 8" X 11" pan.  Spread it evenly across the bottom.

Zesty Pesto and Artichoke Ricotta Lasagna

4. Layer 3-4 lasagna noodles over the pesto sauce and top with fresh spinach.

Zesty Pesto and Artichoke Ricotta Lasagna

5. Spread artichoke ricotta over the spinach.

Zesty Pesto and Artichoke Ricotta Lasagna

6. Layer 3-4 lasagna noodles over the artichoke ricotta.

Zesty Pesto and Artichoke Ricotta Lasagna

7. Layer 1 cup zesty pesto over the lasagna noodles.

Zesty Pesto and Artichoke Ricotta Lasagna

8. Layer with sliced heirloom tomatoes and cover with remaining zesty pesto.  Top with shredded non-dairy cheese.  Bake covered with aluminum foil at 350 F for 45 minutes.  If you prefer a crisped top, remove the foil at 45 minutes, and BROIL on HIGH until it reaches your desired level of crispness.  Keep an eye on it closely to make sure it does not burn.  Remove from the oven and top with flat leaf parsley.  Allow it to cool for about 10 minutes, and then, serve.

Zesty Pesto and Artichoke Ricotta Lasagna