Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). Also set out two baking sheets and one large (9x13-inch or similar) baking dish (use more or less pans if altering the default number of servings).
Generously salt eggplant slices on both sides and arrange in a colander in the sink to remove excess water/bitterness for 15 minutes. (If using lasagna noodles, boil, drain and set aside.)
Rinse salted eggplant slices well and dry thoroughly between two clean absorbent towels. Lay a baking sheet on top and place something heavy on top to absorb excess moisture.
Arrange slices on 1-2 baking sheets in an even layer and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake in a 425 degree F (218 C) oven for 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce oven heat to 375 degrees F (190 C).
While eggplant is baking, add marinara sauce and water to a large saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Then add rinsed lentils and lower heat to a simmer (low) and cook loosely covered (to prevent splattering), stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes or until lentils are tender.
In the meantime, make tofu ricotta. Add all ricotta ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse to combine, scraping down sides as needed. You want a semi-puréed mixture with bits of basil still intact.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper for flavor, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, or lemon juice for brightness. I usually add a bit more of all three.
Spread a thin layer of lentil marinara sauce into your baking dish. Then layer on a few pieces of eggplant (see photo).
Spoon half of the ricotta filling over the eggplant slices and spread into an even layer. Then top with another layer of marinara sauce. Repeat until you have used up all the ricotta. NOTE: The top layers should be: marinara, eggplant noodles, marinara.
Sprinkle the top with vegan parmesan cheese (optional) and cover with foil. Bake at 375 F (190 C) for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until the sauce is bubbly and warm and the top layer is very slightly browned (see photo).
Let rest for 10-15 minutes. Then slice with a serrated or very sharp knife, and serve with additional vegan parmesan cheese and fresh basil (optional).
Leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in the oven or the microwave until warm. You can freeze the dish up to 1 month: Prepare up until baking and then thaw slightly before baking at 375 F (190 C) until warmed through.
*Make your red sauce from scratch using this recipe. *If you have a soy allergy or prefer not to use tofu, you can sub macadamia, almond, or cashew ricotta instead! *Adapted from my Eggplant Lasagna Rolls. *Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without vegan parmesan cheese.