For the Sauce:
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- ½ cup seasoning blend (reserve half if cooking with meat substitute)
- 3 medium cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
- 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
- 1/3 cup vodka
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1 lb. vegetarian ground meat or meat substitute (optional)
For the Filling:
- 16 oz. container whole-milk ricotta cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp. parsley
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 8 to 9 oz. box lasagna noodles (cooked according to package instructions)
- 12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- Non-stick spray
- 1 tbsp. parsley
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions and set aside making sure to keep noodles flat.
For the Sauce:
Heat the butter in a large sauce pan until simmering. Add seasoning blend and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, and crushed red pepper for another two minutes until simmering. Remove from heat and add tomatoes and vodka. Return to heat and simmer until alcohol cooks off for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into blender and pulse for 30 seconds in 10 second intervals until sauce is almost smooth with few chunks. Pour into large pan and continue to simmer on low while preparing meat.
Heat olive oil in large pan until simmering. Add seasoning blend and ground meat substitute, if using, and cook until brown. Once brown, add into vodka cream sauce and continue to simmer sauce on low while preparing filling.
For the filling:
Place all of the measured ingredients into a medium bowl and mix until all ingredients are combined; set aside.
Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish well with nonstick spray. Spread ½ cup of the sauce in a thin layer over the bottom of the dish. Layer 3 of the noodles on top of the sauce. Top with another ½ cup of the sauce and spread evenly to cover noodles to the edge of the dish. Using a spoon, drop 3-5 dollops on top of the sauce and flatten the mixture. There is no need to be precise with spreading the mixture as it will spread as it cooks. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of mixture. Top with 3 more lasagna noodles and repeat the steps until desired thickness of lasagna is achieved. Top the final layer of sauce with a combination of Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and finish with parsley. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbling and slightly browned. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.