Your family is going to love this hearty Ravioli Lasagna made with plant-based Bolognese. It tastes and cooks just like meat from cows, but it’s meat from plants!
As a society (especially Americans) we eat more meat than we should. Even as a restaurant chef I felt it was my duty to fill the plate.
The truth of the matter we consume more meat than our bodies need. And not only does it wreak havoc with our bodies, it’s not good for the environment. Beef is one of the biggest protagonists to the environmental issues we face.
Ingredients for Plant-Based Bolognese
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make the Plant Based Bolognese Sauce. In Chef Speak this is called the Mise en Place which translates into Everything in its Place.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
How to make plant-based bolognese
- Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat, add the chopped vegetables and let them begin to caramelize (about 4-5 minutes). Add the chopped garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove the cooked vegetables (soffritto) from the pot and save until needed.
- Add the olive oil and beef substitute to the pan. Season with sea salt and black pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes until it browns. When the meatless meat is fully cooked break it up with a wire whip or spoon.
- Add the red wine to the hot pan. It will deglaze the pan, releasing all the browned bits stuck to the bottom. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a large spoon to help get all the stuck bits loose.
- Return the reserved soffritto to the pot, mix well and allow to cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, milk, basil and parsley, mixing well. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Finish the plant-based bolognese
- Stir in heavy cream and Romano cheese, mix well to incorporate the cream and cheese into the sauce.
- Re-season with sea salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper to taste and simmer for 5 minutes.
What to make Ravioli Lasagna
Once the bolognese sauce is made, you can begin putting together the Ravioli Lasagna.
Do I have to make a homemade Bolognese Sauce for the lasagna?
No, you don’t. If you don’t have the time, you can fake it. I promise there will be judgment. Cooking needs to be fun and spending time in the kitchen shouldn’t stress you out. So if you want to take a shortcut, that’s not a problem. Just follow these steps.
- Add half a cup of chopped onions and two cloves of chopped garlic to a pot and sauté in olive oil for 2 minutes.
- Add a 32-ounce jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce.
- Add one-half cup of cream (or half & half) along with one-half cup of grated Romano Cheese, mix well.
- Season with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper to your tastes.
- Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes
It won’t be quite the same but it will still be delicious!
How to make Ravioli Lasagna
- Add a layer of the bolognese sauce to the bottom of your baking dish. A 9 -inch by 9-inch pan will do nicely
- Place frozen cheese ravioli on top of the bolognese sauce. * Feel free to just add one layer or fill in the spaces as I did.
- Add another layer of bolognese and top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Add another layer of cheese ravioli.
- Add the final layer of bolognese sauce, topped with grated Romano cheese.
- Top with a nice layer of shredded mozzarella and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
**Cover with non-stick foil or spray the food side of regular foil to make sure it doesn’t stick to the cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees for 60 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for 7-10 more minutes.
**Allow lasagna to rest for 7-10 minutes before cutting, so it firms up.
There was no way to tell that the sauce didn’t contain beef. It looked, tasted and had the mouthfeel of beef. And the fact that this is meat made entirely from plants, makes me feel good about what I’m serving my family and friends.
It was an incredibly delicious dish and a great way to enjoy a hearty (and meaty) meatless dish. Think about it, all the deliciousness with none of the guilt! It’s the perfect comfort food.