Butternut Squash Lasagna

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Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Tempeh Bacon Filling & Cashew Cream Béchamel
Vegan, Gluten-Free

This rich and creamy baked Lasagna is as unbelievably satisfying as it is elegant. A perfect pasta course at a seven course meal or buffet or served with a salad. Trust me, you don’t need to eat a lot to feel full but you are going to want to have seconds just the same. Happy Feasting.
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For the Butternut Squash Filling:

1 onion (diced)
1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
1 large butternut squash (to make 1 1/2 cups purée)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup raw cashew pieces or whole, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Cut one large butternut squash in half and remove seeds. Put it back together and wrap in parchment paper and then in foil. Bake on sheet pan in 350oF oven for one hour or until soft to the touch. Let cool and scoop out filling into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Place cashews in sauté pan and toast, stirring occasionally until golden brown. OR bake cashew pieces in a 350oF oven until golden brown.
Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until lightly browned.
Add butternut squash purée and sauté for about 2 minutes.
Add half of the toasted cashews, reserve the other half of the cashews for later.
And the remaining ingredients and purée in a food processor. Adjust seasoning. Let cool.

For the Brussels Sprout Filling

1 onion (diced)
1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
28 Brussels sprouts (stemmed and quartered)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until lightly browned.
Add the quartered Brussels sprouts and sauté until tender but not over cooked (about 5 to 7 minutes).
Adjust seasoning. Let cool.

For the Cashew Cream Béchamel

2 cups cashew cream
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 Tablespoons vegan butter
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and place on medium-high heat, bring to a boil; whisking occasionally; being careful not to burn. Lower the heat and simmer for a minute or two or until it thickens slight. Remove from the burner and cover. Let cool.

NOTE: Once the Béchamel has cooled you may need to add vegetable stock (one tablespoon at a time) to loosen the sauce for use in the lasagna layering process.

For the Tempeh Bacon

1 package of tempeh bacon (6 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375oF

Lay the strips of tempeh bacon about 1″ apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove sheet pan from oven; flip bacon strips; return to the oven and bake an additional 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool.
Cut the bacon in 1/2 inch pieces.
Place pieces in a bowl to use later in the lasagna layering process.

For the Lasagna Noodles

1 box (10oz) of brown rice noodle lasagna (we use Tinkyáda brand)

Follow the package directions for baked lasagna making sure to under cook the noodles by two minutes. Rinse them in cold water; drain well.

ASSEMBLE THE LASAGNA

Preheat the oven to 350oF

In an 11″x7″ Pyrex or comparable oven proof baking dish:
Ladle about 1/4 cup of Béchamel and spread it evenly on the bottom of the baking dish.
Lay down one layer of lasagna noodles (about three) side by side (if they overlap a little it’s fine).
With a teaspoon, spread butternut squash purée over the layer of noodles (about a quarter of a cup). You don’t need to completely cover each noodle.
Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of Brussels sprouts over the layer of squash and noodles. Again, you don’t need to cover each noodle.
Sprinkle approximately a quarter cup of tempeh bacon pieces.
Sprinkle approximately 2 tablespoons of remaining toasted cashew pieces (Again, you don’t need to cover the entire area.)
Drizzle about 1/4 cup of Béchamel on top. (Again, you don’t need to cover the entire area.)
Lay another layer of noodles on top and repeat the process.
You will have enough noodles and filling to repeat the process three times.
On the final layer, ladle a little sauce on top and sprinkle the rest of the cashew pieces (but no other ingredients).
Cover with parchment paper and then cover the paper with aluminum foil or a sheet pan.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove the covering and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

Serve with each piece of lasagna with a dollop the following sauce:

1 cup Béchamel (see above for recipe)
1 cup butternut squash purée (see above)
1/2 cup clear vegetable stock
1/2 cup of white wine
pinch of salt and pepper and nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a blender.
Pour in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and simmer for several minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Plate the lasagna with a dollop of sauce and a few Brussels sprouts leaves and some freshly grated nutmeg.

NOTE: Acorn Squash or sweet potatoes can be substituted for the butternut squash. You can also experiment with the nuts; for example, hazelnuts are fantastic with butternut squash.

ENJOY!

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