Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna

mushroom and spinach lasagna
mushroom and spinach lasagna photo by carmen troesser

I’m not going to lie, there are quite a few steps to this lasagna – but it’s so worth it. Fresh pasta is layered with rich mushroom marinara, spinach and tangy, cheesy, nutty dairy-free ricotta. The sauce and ricotta can be made ahead, or if you’re doing it all at once, make the marinara first, then the pasta, then the ricotta while the sauce is simmering. Contrary to popular belief, pasta does not require eggs. Back in the day, only wealthy Italians made egg pasta. All you need is 00 flour, semolina and water.


3 cups semolina
1½ cups 00 flour, plus more for dusting
1 pinch kosher salt, plus more for boiling
1½ cups warm water
2½ to 3 cups Rich Mushroom Marinara, divided (recipe follows)
8 oz. baby spinach, divided
3 cups Almond-Cashew Ricotta, divided (recipe follows)
½ cup nutritional yeast, divided (optional)

Special equipment: pasta machine

For the rich mushroom marinara

1 lb. baby bella or white button mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 cups diced onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup vegetable broth
½ cup dry red wine
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
2 28-oz. cans crushed tomatoes
2 14-oz. cans diced tomatoes
3 Tbsp. dried basil
2 Tbsp. dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the almond-cashew ricotta

2 cups raw slivered almonds
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water, plus more if needed
¼ cup nutritional yeast
3 Tbsp. lemon juice, plus more if needed
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. Maldon salt, plus more if needed


• In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the semolina, flour and salt on low speed. With the mixer running, add the water very slowly. When the dough comes together, turn off the mixer and switch to the dough hook attachment.
• Knead the dough on medium speed about 8 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and let rest covered with a towel 20 minutes.

• Lightly flour a work surface. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and cover with a towel. Shape 1 piece into a ½ inch-thick rectangle. Dust lightly with flour and roll it through the pasta machine on the widest setting. Fold the dough in thirds as if folding a letter, then roll it through the machine again. Repeat 4 times, dusting with flour if the dough sticks to the machine. Narrow the machine setting by 2 and roll the dough again. Continue narrowing the setting by 2 and rolling, dusting both sides with flour if necessary, until the dough is about 1/16 inch thick. Dust with flour on both sides and cut into 11-inch pieces. Repeat with remaining dough.

• Prepare an ice bath and line a sheet pan with several clean kitchen towels or parchment paper. Bring a 10-quart pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
• Boil 3 or 4 noodles at a time, making sure not to crowd them, about 30 seconds. Carefully transfer the noodles to the ice bath, drain, then spread flat on the towels. Repeat with the remaining noodles and set aside.

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

• In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, evenly spread ½ cup mushroom marinara. Layer 3 to 4 noodles on top, then another ½ cup marinara. Layer about a third of the spinach on top, then dot with about 1 cup ricotta. Sprinkle with ¼ cup nutritional yeast, if using. Repeat the pasta, marinara, spinach and ricotta layers two more times. Finish with a final layer of pasta and marinara, then sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup nutritional yeast, if using. 

• Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake until bubbling and lightly brown on top, about 15 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before cutting.

For the rich mushroom marinara

• To a Dutch oven over medium heat, add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms begin to release liquid, add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed. When the mixture sticks to the pan, add 1 to 2 tablespoons broth at a time until ½ cup broth is absorbed and the onion is translucent.

• Add the wine to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the crushed and diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer about 30 minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings. Simmer 20 minutes.

For the almond-cashew ricotta

• Soak the almonds and cashews in very hot water at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour, then drain.

• In a high-powered blender, combine the almonds and cashews, water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Blend on high speed until smooth. If the nut mixture is too thick and the blender struggles, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is smooth and creamy. When it’s no longer grainy, scrape into a bowl. Taste and season with salt or lemon, if necessary.

Tags : Pasta , Tomatoes , Mushrooms