I went to the grocery store today with a short list and an uncompleted menu plan after reviewing the stores flyer for specials. One of the items on sale was fresh spinach and I knew I wanted that in my cart. I was trying to think of what I could make and the first thought was a dip recipe. For some reason that idea wasn't really what I wanted to make or eat so I kept wandering through the produce section when an idea struck me. Despite my husband not liking sweet potatoes I decided that a lasagna with fresh spinach, sweet potato, ricotta cheese and of course seasonings might just taste pretty darn good. And quite possibly I could convert my non-eating sweet potato husband into at least liking this sweet starchy potato.
What I also needed to consider with making the dish was some type of sauce. I thought of a sauce I made a while back using pumpkin and decided that or a version thereof would most likely blend with the spinach and sweet potato. The sauce I am speaking of is Pumpkin and Sage Cream Sauce. That sauce is killer good! However a long time ago my daughter and I made some homemade raviolis with butternut squash and a scrumptious sauce that I ended up feeling would be just what this lasagna needed to tie it all together.
- 9 lasagna noodles
- 1 bag fresh baby spinach
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 - 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
- olive oil
- 1 pint heavy cream (sauce)
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese (sauce)
- 3 tbsp. butter (sauce)
- 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs (topping)
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (topping)
- 2-3 tbsp. olive oil (topping)
- grating of some fresh nutmeg to taste (sauce)
- 3 fresh sage leaves - finely chopped (sauce)
- salt to taste throughout
- black pepper to taste throughout
- First nuke or bake your sweet potato until softened. Peel off the skin and place in a bowl.
- Next wash and drain your spinach.
- Add the sweet potato and the ricotta to the bowl of a food processor with the metal blade installed. Pulse until smooth. Then add in the spinach, some nutmeg, salt and pepper (to taste) and pulse until combined.
- Cook your lasagna noodles according to box directions, drain and lay out on a clean towel.
- In a sauce pot combine the heavy cream, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 3 tablespoons of butter. Cook over medium low heat, stirring. You can add another tablespoon of Parmesan cheese after the sauce just bubbles slightly, mix and turn off the heat.
- I used parchment paper as a liner in my casserole dish. Assemble with noodles, the sweet potato and spinach mixture, pour some sauce over that. Keep layering in that manner. You will have extra mixture unless you really pile it on the pasta, so any left overs can be placed in a container and frozen for another application.
- Pour the remaining sauce all over the assembled lasagna.
- In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs with 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese and 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and mix well. Sprinkle the topping over the lasagna.
- Baked covered in a preheated 350° oven for about 30-40 minutes.
I mentioned earlier that the filling was more than you might need so be sure to store it, label with a date and place in your freezer. This would make a wonderful filling for ravioli's or instead of a lasagna, make some rollatini's.