Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Scrumptious Vegetarian Fall Feast

Although turkey can be tasty, some of Tiny's friends are looking for a meat-free way to celebrate the holidays this year. This colorful pasta dish would be a pretty centerpiece for any Thanksgiving spread! 
Or if you would like to add meat to this recipe, consider using up some of your Thanksgiving leftovers for a weekend supper.... Add a layer of shredded turkey, and include some mashed carrots or pumpkin in the vegetable puree.

Tiny found some fresh spinach lasagna sheets for her version. 

Fresh pasta, which often comes in plain, whole wheat, or spinach flavor, is made with whole eggs, so it contains more protein than the dried kinds. It is also faster to cook, and oh, so delicious. If you can’t find fresh lasagna sheets near you, never fear! Dry sheets are a perfectly suitable substitute; just increase the boiling time to eight minutes.

Celeriac is the root of a variety of celery and it has a flavor similar to the stalks: mild, sweet, and clean. The root is starchy and not at all stringy, making it a delicious addition to purées or soups.

1 celeriac bulb, about 1 pound, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
1 small butternut squash, about 2 pounds, peeled, seeds removed, and cut in 1-inch pieces
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Optional ½-1 cup low sodium vegetable stock or water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup light cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 pound ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided in half
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage or 1 tablespoon dry sage
8 oz mozzarella or fontina cheese, coarsely grated (about 2 ¼ cups, divided)
4 9x13-inch fresh lasagna sheets, about 2 pounds (or 2 boxes dried lasagna sheets)

Optional 12-16 whole fresh sage leaves, reserved to decorate the top

Ask an adult to turn the oven down to 375 degrees, and then help you transfer the vegetables and garlic back to your bowl. 

In a large pot of salted water, an adult can help boil the lasagna sheets according to the package instructions (usually 1-2 minutes for fresh pasta or 6-8  minutes for dried). Drain and rinse the sheets well with cold running water, then toss them gently with a little drizzle of olive oil before setting them aside at room temperature. Rinsing and oiling the pasta will remove some of the starch and prevent them from sticking to themselves before you are ready to use them.

Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees, and continue baking for another 8-12 minutes, until the top is browned and bubbly.

Have an adult help you remove the lasagna from the oven and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before serving. This is also a really fantastic recipe to make a day ahead of time; Tiny thinks that if you can resist eating it right away, it might even be better the second day! To reheat the lasagna, just pop it back in a 350 degree oven, covered in foil, for 20-30 minutes.

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This post created by Kat Craddock

Photo credits: Cassie Sciortino

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