I love lasagna in the winter but am not so big on the pasta part, so here is a cheesy veggie lasagna that really hits the spot, with an option to add in Venison sausage for you meat lovers!
2 2-lb. butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch think slices ( you may also just throw in cubed butternut squash if you buy it pre-cut at the store)
3 T olive oil
Pink sea salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs. diced zucchini, spinach or broccoli rabe (rapini); I usually pick 2
1 lb. sauteed mushrooms, portabella or any other you choose
Crushed red pepper
1 lb. hormone- free fresh mozzarella
1 lb. Fage Greek Yogurt ( or whole milk ricotta)
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 T lemon zest
2 t. minced fresh rosemary
1/2 white onion, chopped
Ground venison: optional
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or Ghee
1/4 cup unbleached all- purpose flour or Hodgson Mill GF All Purpose Flour
5 cups (or more) half-and-half
1/8 tsp. (or more) freshly grated nutmeg
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 400. Place squash and 3 T olive oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Divide between two rimmed baking dishes and spread out so slightly overlapping.Roast until tender, about 15 minutes and let cool.
Quickly blanch broccoli rabe, zucchini or spinach in a large pot of salted boiling water until it wilts, 1-2 minutes. Drain and briefly cool under running water. Squeeze out excess water and coarsely chop, then transfer to large bowl.
Mix mozzarella, ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest, sage and rosemary in a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
(This can all be made a day ahead).
Saute ground venison, onion and mushrooms until venison is cooked through, then set aside.
Melt butter or Ghee in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until lightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. Increase heat slightly and whisk in 5 cups 1/2 and 1/2 , 1/2 cupful at a time, allowing Bechamel to thicken between additions. Add 1/8 tsp nutmeg and bay leaf.
Reduce heat to low and cook, thinning with more 1/2 and 1/2 if too thick, until sauce is a milk shake- like consistency, about 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a medium metal bowl. Cover and keep warm.
Ladle about 1/4 cup Bechamel into a 13x9x2 baking dish and spread evenly over the bottom. Line dish with butternut squash, then veggies, then meat mixture, then cheese mixture then Bechamel sauce. You can also just throw it all in together! Repeat the process until you have finished.
Spread remaining Bechamel over the top and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Preheat the oven to 375 and bake the lasagna about 45 minutes. Turn oven to broil, and then brown for 4-7 minutes.
Let rest 20-30 minutes before serving!