1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Also set out two baking sheets and one large (9x13-inch or similar) baking dish. 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. Arrange slices on 1-2 baking sheets in an even layer and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake in a 425°F oven for 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce oven heat to 375°F.
2. 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 stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes or until lentils are tender.
3. 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.
4. Spread a thin layer of lentil marinara sauce into your baking dish. Then layer eggplant, and then ricotta filling. Repeat. Sprinkle the top with vegan parmesan cheese (optional) and cover with foil. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes, 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).
5. 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.