Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Lasagna with a Creamy Béchamel Sauce
- Yield 4 to 6 servings
The flavors of the slightly sweet butternut squash and creamy béchamel sauce really come together with the addition of the strong flavor of sage.
- 1 large butternut squash (or skip roasting step and use 2 cans of pureed butternut squash) (for lasagna)
- 6-8 cups water, salted (for lasagna)
- 1 box spelt lasagna noodles (for lasagna)
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy butter (for lasagna)
- 6-8 leaves fresh sage, finely chopped (for lasagna)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (for lasagna)
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar (for lasagna)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (for lasagna)
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (for lasagna)
- 3 cups baby spinach, tightly packed (for lasagna)
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy butter (for Béchamel Sauce)
- 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (for Béchamel Sauce)
- 4 cups unsweetened almond or soymilk (for Béchamel Sauce)
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder (for Béchamel Sauce)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (for Béchamel Sauce)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (for Béchamel Sauce)
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper (for Béchamel Sauce)
- 1 whole bay leaf (for Béchamel Sauce)
- 1 dash freshly ground nutmeg (for Béchamel Sauce)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (for Béchamel Sauce)
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- To roast the butternut squash: Turn squash on its side. Slice in half, separating round base from longer top of squash. If squash is large, cut longer piece in half again. Place cut sides down on a greased baking sheet. Roast squash for 40-60 minutes, depending on size. Test for doneness by inserting a knife. When no resistance is given, it is finished. Remove seeds and stringy fiber. Scoop out 3 cups of cooked butternut squash and set aside in a large bowl.
- Bring salted water to a boil in a large (6-quart) pot. Add noodles and cook as described on package, about 7-9 minutes. Drain.
- In the large bowl containing cooked squash, use a potato masher to combine butter, sage, lemon juice, agave, sea salt and black pepper.
- In a medium sauté pan, cook olive oil and spinach over medium heat until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- For the béchamel sauce: Heat a medium (4-quart) pot over medium heat and add butter. Whisk in flour and create a paste, making a roux. Add almond or soymilk, mustard powder, garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper, bay leaf, nutmeg and lemon juice. Whisk, stirring continuously. Cook for about 7 minutes, or until béchamel sauce looks thick and creamy. Discard bay leaf.
- To assemble: First, spread a layer of béchamel on the bottom of a lasagna dish. No need to spray dish with cooking oil. Next, add a layer of lasagna noodles, making sure to cover entire bottom of dish.
- Add a layer of butternut squash mixture, then another layer of noodles. Top with béchamel sauce.
- Add a spinach layer and then another layer of noodles, and top with béchamel. Repeat sequence until all filling is used. Finish dish with a layer of lasagna noodles covered in a thick layer of béchamel sauce.
- Bake for about 35 minutes, or until bubbles appear in center of lasagna.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg, authors of Spork Fed (c) 2011. Spork Foods is a Los Angeles-based gourmet vegan food company owned and operated by sisters Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg. They offer live cooking classes at Spork Foods in West Hollywood, online vegan cooking classes at www.sporkonline.com, one-on-one in-home healthy pantry makeovers, and recipe development/trainings for chefs, food companies and colleges. Their cookbook, Spork-Fed, is currently on the shelves, with a foreword by fellow fans and sisters, Emily and Zooey Deschanel.