Italian-Style Living Lasagna

serves 4

Fresh Marinara Sauce:
2 medium-size tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 ounce (3/4 cup) sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 2 hours and drained
1/8 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced
1 Tbsp. minced onion
4 large fresh basil leaves, minced
1/2 small clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. dry oregano leaves, crushed
1/8 tsp. sea salt (or, to taste)
freshly ground pepper

1 cup Almond Ricotta Cheese (see pg. 28)
1/2 small eggplant, peeled, thinly sliced, and soaked in salted water to cover for 30 minutes
3 cups (packed) spinach leaves, washed, dried, and minced
8 medium-size mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced

  1. Combine ingredients for Sauce in food processor and puree.
  2. Line a 22" x 12" loaf pan with a large double layer of cheesecloth, so that the cloth drapes over all sides of the pan.
  3. To assemble, drain eggplant and pat dry. Place one layer of eggplant on top of the cheesecloth at the bottom of the loaf pan. Evenly spread 1/3 of the Marinara Sauce on top.
  4. Place 1/2 of the sliced mushrooms evenly over the sauce and spread 1/2 of the Almond Ricotta Cheese on top.
  5. Evenly distribute 1/2 of the ground spinach over the top of the Almond Ricotta Cheese and press firmly into place.
  6. Repeat steps 3 -- 5 using 1/2 of the Marinara and all of the remaining ingredients -- layering them on top of the first layer.
  7. Cover the top with the remaining Marinara Sauce.
  8. Lifting the cheesecloth, carefully remove lasagna, and slice into 4 pieces. Serve at room temperature or gently heated.