BUTTERNUT SQUASH LEEK LASAGNA
Layers of whole-wheat pasta, grated butternut squash, creamy leek sauce and roasted pine nuts come together in this seasonal, warm and filling dish. Its earthy sweetness would be best accompanied by a greens and tomato salad lightly dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette.
12 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon earth balance or unsalted butter
2 large leeks, pale green and white parts only, thinly sliced and washed thoroughly (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups soy or nonfat milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt
3 tablespoons freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and grated
1/2 cup vegan parmesan alternative or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh basil, julienned
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil a baking dish.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles per package instructions. Drain and return the noodles to the pot and covering with cold water.
Melt the earth balance or butter over medium heat. Add leeks and stir them often, until softened, for about 6 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the leeks and mix well. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 more minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until thick, 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk in thyme, salt, nutmeg, garlic powder, cumin and pepper. Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Assemble lasagna in the prepared baking dish by layering four noodles, slightly overlapping, creamy leek sauce, grated squash and cheese. A second layer with four more noodles, some more sauce, all of the pine nuts, grated squash and half the remaining cheese. Finish by layering four more noodles, the remaining sauce, remaining squash and all the remaining cheese.
Cover very tightly with both parchment paper and foil.
Bake the lasagna for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until bubbling and golden, 35 to 45 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving and top with fresh basil.
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