Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sweet Potato & Mushroom Lasagna - Passover Friendly

Norene's Sweet Potato & Mushroom Lasagna

Perfect for Passover…no noodles!
From Norene's Healthy Kitchen

Hands-on time: 20-30 minutes
Baking time: 1 hour or until cheese is melted and golden
Resting time: 10-15 minutes
Serves 10-12

2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
3 cups mushrooms ( I always choose cremini), cut in half or quartered if large
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks
1-2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 large cloves garlic, minced
½ cup fresh Italian/flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped or 1 tsp dried
3 cups Italian style tomato sauce
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar (my addition to counter the acidity of the tomatoes)

3 large sweet potatoes

3 cups light ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

1. Process the onions, mushrooms and red peppers in a food processor using quick on/off pulses until they are coarsely chopped.

2. Heat some oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat and sauté the vegetables until golden (about 10 minutes).

3. Add the garlic, parsley, and basil along with the tomato sauce, salt & pepper. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes. Taste for seasoning (this is usually when I add some sugar). Norene’s note: the sauce can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/170°C line a rimmed baking sheet large enough to hold a 13”x9” baking dish with foil for easy cleanup.

2. Two versions for prepping the sweet potato:
Norene’s version: pierce sweet potatoes with a sharp knife and microwave on high for 6-8 minutes until partially cooked. Cool slightly before peeling. Cut into thin slices with a sharp knife. You should have about 6 cups. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with additional salt & pepper.
Ruth’s version: next time I’ll just peel raw sweet potatoes and thinly slice with a Mandoline. Toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

3. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan and filling seasonings.

4. Grease an oven proof 13”x9” baking dish with a little olive oil. Do the layering as follows:
• 1/3 of the sauce spread evenly over the bottom of the dish
• Arrange 1/3 of the sweet potatoes to cover the sauce completely (this is the “noodle” layer)
• Evenly spread half the ricotta mixture (Ruth’s note: Joanna & I forgot to add 2/3 cup mozzarella separately at this point and perhaps that’s why it was soupy to serve)
• 1/3 sauce
• 1/3 sweet potatoes
• Rest of the ricotta mixture
• Last of the sweet potatoes
• Last of the sauce
• Mozzarella cheese to cover.
Norene says this can be prepared up to this point a day in advance as well. Just let it come to room temperature before baking.

5. Bake for 1 hour or so. Norene covers hers with foil for the first 45 minutes, we left it uncovered for the entire time. The sweet potatoes should be tender when you insert the tip of a sharp knife.

6. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving for easier slicing. We needed a spoon to serve because we rushed the process, so it was a bit soupy, but very delicious.

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