Sick of plasticky, greasy vegan cheese? Tired of feeding your family chemical-y storebought vegan cheese that no one likes and that looks like a genetically mutated monster? Enter my vegan ricotta, which fooled… *drumroll*….
the whole Italian side of my family.
Every Christmas for two decades (and more), my mom made a vegetarian lasagna, with layer upon layer of decadent ricotta, homemade tomato sauce, and lasagna sheets. It is our Christmas tradition and people get very upset if the lasagna is not present.
When I went vegan, everyone (me included) was sad that I could no longer partake in the lasagna. Then I figured out how to make vegan ricotta which is so realistic a few members of my family have come up to me after eating it and remarked “I’m confused, I thought you were vegan; why are you making pasta with cheese?”
Go on, try it, and fool your family, too.
makes enough for one small pan of lasagna or approx. 3 dozen ravioli
- 1 package (approx 1 lb) firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes (optional)*
- 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- fresh black pepper to taste
- Italian dried herb mix to taste
1. In a spice grinder, grind cashews until fine.
2. In a food processor, blend cashews, tofu, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, nutritional yeast, basil, black pepper, and Italian herb mix until it forms a thick paste.
3. Adjust seasonings to taste.
4. Mangia, mangia!
*Nutritional yeast flakes can be found in health food shops in the US and UK. I think it adds a nice cheesy flavour, but if you’re not a fan or if you live somewhere where you can’t obtain it, feel free to leave it out.