Fall Harvest Lasagna

.Sweet Potato, Caramelized Onion, and Butternut Squash Lasagna.
From one of my favorites: the Gardeners’ Community Cookbook

I made this just before Christmas as a cozy holiday meal for Matt and me before we headed out of town. And we took the leftovers with us to share with my family in Texas.

:: 1 lb. lasagna noodles
:: extra olive oil for coating the pasta, brushing the potatoes, and greasing the dish
:: 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (We were lucky to get some beauties from Crestview Farms back in October.)
:: 2 T butter
:: 2 T olive oil
:: 3 medium Spanish or other sweet onions, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings
:: 1 t sugar
:: 1 large egg, slightly beaten
:: 3 T chopped fresh basil, or 2 t dried basil
:: 1 T chopped fresh oregano, or 1 t dried oregano
:: 2 cloves garlic, minced
:: 1 t salt
:: 3 c ricotta cheese
:: 1/2 c mixed grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses
:: 1/2 lb. butternut squash, cooked and mashed
:: 1 lb. mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
:: freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook the pasta until al dente, drain, and coat with enough olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking. Set aside. NOTE: I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use the non-boil type of noodles to save time.
2. Preheat the oven to 475˚.
3. Spread the sweet potatoes in one layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle a little oil (about 1/4 t) over the potatoes and turn to coat both sides. Bake for 15 minutes, until cooked and lightly golden. Remove and set aside. Reduce the oven heat to 375˚.
4. Melt the butter along with the 2 T oil in a large skillet. Stir in the onions and sugar and sauté over medium heat for 20 minutes, until soft and beginning to turn golden. Set aside.

Carmelizing onions

5. Place the egg, basil, oregano, garlic, and salt in a large bowl and whisk together. Add the ricotta and grated cheeses and whisk to smooth. Add the squash and mix to blend well. Set aside.

Butternut squash lasagna filling

6. To assemble the lasagne, lightly oil a 13×9-inch deep baking pan. Line the bottom with a layer of noodles. Spread some of the cheese and squash mixture over the noodles. Add a layer of sweet potatoes, then a layer of the onions. Top with a layer of mozzarella and sprinkle with black pepper to taste. Continue until all the ingredients are used and the top is a layer of onions lightly covered with mozzarella.

7. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until bubbly and golden across the top. Remove and cool for 5 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.

To take the dish in a more savory direction, you can sub other potatoes, such as russets or Yukon Golds, roasted in the same way.

Obviously, this isn’t a weeknight recipe; it’s very time-consuming. Granted, you could chop the potatoes and onions and roast the squash ahead of time. Still, it’s pretty involved, and worth it about once a year.

We also had Cranberry Sauce with Coriander, a recipe I clipped from Natural Health magazine a few years back. The dish had a weird flavor; I think from the red wine. Anyhow, it was more weird bad than weird good, so I doubt I’ll make this cranberry dish again. In fact, I think I’ll just toss this one out.

I’ll share the recipe anyway. Perhaps you’ll want to try it for yourself.

:: 3 c fresh cranberries
:: 1 c red wine
:: 1/2 c sugar
:: 1 orange, sliced
:: 1/2 t whole coriander seed, toasted and crushed (I used ground coriander, because, well, that’s all I could find)

1. In a large bowl, combine cranberries, wine, and sugar; let stand about 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350˚. Pour cranberry mixture into a large ovenproof dish, top with orange slices and sprinkle with coriander seeds. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes, or until bubbling.

Squash Lasagna and cranberries

2 thoughts on “Fall Harvest Lasagna

  1. Why, thank you! They are currently in Purgatory (aka spare bedroom) because I got new white plates. BTW, Bed, Bath, and Beyond thought I was crazy when I asked if I could return the brown ones.

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