I was struggling with ideas for our menu this week. I wanted to do something that would use some of the great root vegetables we have on hand but no new ideas were coming to mind. Then Matt suggested making a lasagna with layers of the puréed vegetables.
I used roasted sweet potatoes & parsnips as two of the layers, mixing a little roasted onion in with the parsnips. I could have just boiled the vegetables to soften them up but I decided to get the extra flavor roasting seems to add. I made a third layer out of our homemade Italian sausage (if you wanted to keep this vegetarian just add a layer of another vegetable. I think spinach would be good). Cheese went on every layer & the whole thing was topped with a garlic white sauce.
Boy, was this good. We loved the way the sweetness of the roasted vegetables worked with the sausage. It wasn't saucy like some other lasagnas but it was in no way dry either. Putting this lasagna together took a little time, roasting the vegetables, cooking the sausage, making the sauce, but the end result was worth it.
Root Vegetable & Sausage Lasagna
1 T olive oil
1 parsnip (about 3/4 lbs), peeled & cut into cubes
1 sweet potato (about 3/4 lbs), peeled & cut into cubes
1 medium onion, peeled & cut into large pieces
1/2 lb bulk Italian sausage, cooked
2 1/2 T unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 T all-purpose flour
1 c milk
pinch of nutmeg
salt & pepper
1 1/2 c grated mozzarella
6 lasagna noodles, cooked (or amount needed to get four layers)
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Place the parsnips, onions & sweet potato in a baking dish keeping them as separate as possible. Drizzle with olive oil & stir each to coat. Sprinkle with salt. Roast for 45 - 60 minutes until the sweet potato & parsnips are soft & the onion is starting to brown. Purée the sweet potato & parsnip separately from each other. Set the purées & onions aside,
To a small saucepan over medium low heat add the butter & garlic. Sauté the garlic while melting the butter. Once the butter has completely melted, stir in the flour. Stir & cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk. Cook while whisking until thickened. Stir in nutmeg & salt & pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Spoon a thin layer of the sauce onto the bottom of a 6" x 8" glass baking dish.
Place a layer of noodles on top.
Cover the noodles with the sweet potato purée & 1/2 c of mozzarella.
Place a layer of noodles on top. Cover the noodles with the sausage & grated parmesan.
Place another layer of noodles on top top the sausage. Spread the parsnips on top of the noodles, roasted onions & 1/2 c mozzarella.
Add another layer of noodles. Top with the remaining sauce, 1/2 c mozzarella & more parmesan.
Bake for 30 - 45 minutes, until the top is brown & bubbly. Let side 15 minutes before serving.
Makes 4 servings.