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Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna (Vegan)

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

This is a vegan version of Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with ricotta and a creamy Parmesan white sauce.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH:
  • 3 cups Butternut Squash
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • Salt And Pepper
  • FOR THE VEGAN PARMESAN SAUCE:
  • 4 Tablespoons Vegan Margarine
  • ¼ cups Flour
  • 3 cups Almond Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegan Parmesan
  • 1 pinch Nutmeg
  • FOR THE RICOTTA MIXTURE:
  • 1 cup Vegan Ricotta
  • ½ cups Vegan Parmesan
  • 1 Tablespoon Almond Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Parsley
  • FOR THE PANKO TOPPING:
  • ¼ cups Panko Bread Crumbs
  • ¼ cups Vegan Parmesan
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegan Margarine, Melted
  • FOR ASSEMBLING:
  • 12 strips Egg-free Lasagna Noodles
  • 1 cup Spinach
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves, For Garnish (optional)

Preparation

For the filling:
Cut the ends off the squash and slice in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds. You can use all butternut, but I was fortunate to have a selection to choose from and found Kabocha squash: a Japanese squash grown in California and Mexico that is a little darker with richer tasting flesh. It is a bit tougher to cut, so use a very sharp knife and some caution.

Using a small amount of vegetable oil, brush the flesh side of each of squash halves and season with salt and pepper. Place flesh side up on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast at 425ºF for about 1 hour or until tender. Cool enough to handle and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Mash it with a fork. This can be done a day in advance.

For the sauce:
In a saucepan over medium heat, add margarine until melted and whisk in the flour. Add the almond milk all at once, whisking until smooth. Add the Parmesan and a pinch of nutmeg, whisk occasionally until thickened, about 15 minutes. Set aside, keeping warm.

For the ricotta:
In a bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, almond milk and parsley. Set aside.

For the panko topping:
In a separate bowl, combine the panko, parmesan and melted margarine. Set aside.

To assemble:
In a pan filled with warm water, stack and soak the sheets for a few minutes until pliable (not too long or they will stick together). Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Place some of the sauce on the bottom of an 8×8 pan and 1 sheet of pasta. Using an offset spatula, add half of the squash and spread evenly. Top with another sheet of pasta. Top this sheet with half the ricotta mixture and spread evenly.

Add the fresh spinach leaves. Top with sauce. Add another lasagna sheet and top with the butternut mixture. Follow with another sheet of lasagna.

Add the remaining ricotta mixture, some of the remaining sauce and top with the panko topping mixture. Reserve the leftover Parmesan sauce for serving later.

Cover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes or until cooked and bubbly. Cool slightly and add fresh thyme leaves to garnish, if desired. Serve with remaining white sauce.

This recipe makes 6 large pieces or 9 smaller pieces.

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