When I’m planning meals for the upcoming week, I look for recipes that I can make a big pot of and include ingredients that can hold their shape for multiple days. The dish also has to be interesting enough that I won’t get bored eating it for lunch, dinner and sometimes breakfast. That usually means hearty soups, roasted meats or casseroles. Lasagna pretty much fits into the casserole category. It’s saucy, includes a little bit of everything, and has tons of cheese.
This Sweet Potato Lasagna ticks all the weekday meal boxes. While this is perfect after a long, drawn out Monday, I recommend making it a day ahead on Sunday. There’s just too many elements to get straight for a hectic work week.
Sweet Potato “Bechamel” sauce
2 medium sweet potatoes (yields approx. 2 cups of sweet potato puree)
3 cups evaporated milk (1 12 oz and 1 5 oz can)
1 ½ cup shredded fontina cheese
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
12 oz. cremini mushrooms
1 Tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 ½ cup whole milk ricotta
½ cup defrosted and drained frozen spinach
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1 lb. dried lasagna noodles
1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella
Sweet Potato Lasagna Recipe
Serves 4-6 people
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
1. Prepare the sweet potatoes. Wash the sweet potatoes and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven until tender, about 45 minutes. Let the sweet potatoes cool before you peel and puree them. You should use only 2 cups of the puree. Decrease oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Combine the sweet potato puree and the evaporated milk in a deep sauce pan. Heat over medium high heat until the mixture begins to bubble. Turn heat off and working in batches of three stir in a 1/3 of the fontina cheese until it’s melted and no longer clumpy. Repeat this process for the rest of the cheese. Stir in about ½ tsp of salt and turn off the heat. Set aside.
2. Prepare the mushroom filling. Clean and slice the mushrooms. Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil and butter in a medium sauté pan. Add onion and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes. Add ½ a teaspoon of kosher salt and thyme and sauté until the mushrooms release their juices, about 5 minutes total. Set aside.
3. Cook the noodles. Fill a deep stock pot with water and add the rest of the olive oil and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil. Cook the noodles until al dente. Drain noodles in a colander and run cold water over the noodles to stop the cooking process.
4. Make the ricotta mixture. In a medium mixing bowl combine the ricotta, parmesan, eggs and spinach. Season with a ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper.
5. Assemble the lasagna. Spray a 9×9” casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread about 1/3 cup of the sweet potato mixture on the bottom of the dish. Lay a single layer of noodles over the sweet potatoes. Spread another ½ cup of the sweet potatoes over the noodles, followed by 1/3 of the mushroom mix, then ½ of the ricotta mix, then ¼ cup of mozzarella. Layer a single layer of noodles over the ricotta and repeat previous sweet potato/mushroom/ricotta/cheese step. Layer a single layer of noodles over the ricotta followed by the final ½ cup of sweet potato mixture, and remaining mushrooms. Top the entire lasagna with the remaining shredded mozzarella. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in the 375 degree oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
Let sit 15 minutes before serving.