This lasagna is piled high with sweet potatoes and slow-roasted tomatoes, and layered with creamy béchamel sauce—but the secret's in the fried sage leaves.
- Prep time 1 hour
- Total time 4 hours
- 2 heads garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups 2% milk , warmed
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon water (approx) (optional)
- 2 pkg (each 312 g) baby spinach
- 7 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 11 to 14 oven-ready lasagna noodles
- 3 sweet potatoes (about 900 g), peeled and sliced in 1.8-inch thick rounds
- 1 batch Oven-Roasted Tomatoes (recipe in Method)
- fried sage leaves
Béchamel Sauce: Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice off top third of garlic to expose cloves; discard. Drizzle with oil; wrap in foil. Roast on rimmed baking sheet until tender and golden, about 40 minutes; let cool completely. Squeeze cloves into bowl; mash until smooth.
In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; whisk in flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in milk, sage, salt and nutmeg. Increase heat to medium-high; bring to boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, whisking often, until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in garlic. Let cool slightly, whisking occasionally. Béchamel Sauce will thicken as it cools; thin with water, 1 tbsp at a time, if needed.
Meanwhile, in large dry saucepan, cook spinach over medium-high heat, working in batches and stirring constantly, until wilted, 5 to 7 minutes. (Pan will seem full at first, but spinach will cook down.) Strain; when cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess liquid. Set aside. In large bowl, combine mozzarella and Parmesan. Set aside.
Assembly: In bottom of greased 13- x 9-inch deep baking dish, spread 1 cup of the Béchamel Sauce; arrange 3 to 4 noodles over top, overlapping slightly if needed, and pressing down. Arrange half of the sweet potatoes over top and sprinkle with 2 cups of the mozzarella mixture; top with three-quarters of the spinach. Arrange Oven-Roasted Tomatoes over top. Top with 4 to 5 noodles, breaking to fit, if needed; spread 1 cup of the Béchamel Sauce over top. Top with 2 cups of the mozzarella mixture, remaining sweet potatoes and remaining spinach. Top with 2 cups of the mozzarella mixture and 4 to 5 noodles, pressing down firmly. Spread remaining Béchamel Sauce over top; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella mixture.
Place dish on rimmed baking sheet; cover with greased foil. Bake for 1 3/4 hours. Uncover and continue to bake until cheese is golden, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with sage leaves; let stand for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
Test Kitchen Technique: To make fried sage leaves, remove stems from 15 to 20 fresh sage leaves. In skillet, heat enough vegetable oil to come 1/8 inch up side over medium heat until oil starts to shimmer. Working in batches, fry sage leaves until bright green and brittle, 15 to 30 seconds (do not brown). Transfer to paper towel-lined plate; sprinkle with salt. Best made an hour before serving.
Test Kitchen Tip: Don't have time to make Oven-Roasted Tomatoes? Squeeze out excess liquid from 2 large cans (each 796 mL) of plum tomatoes. Arrange tomatoes on 2 parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheets; roast in oven with garlic until slightly dried, 30 to 40 minutes.
Makes 12 to 16 servings.
Nutritional facts Per each of 16 servings: about
- Fibre 4 g
- Sodium 619 mg
- Sugars 10 g
- Protein 19 g
- Calories 387
- Total fat 20 g
- Potassium 674 mg
- Cholesterol 57 mg
- Saturated fat 11 g
- Total carbohydrate 35 g
- Iron 21
- Folate 43
- Calcium 43
- Vitamin A 142
- Vitamin C 40