Autumn Veggie Lasagna

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound Italian chicken sausage
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 3 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch chard, stems removed, leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pinch dry mustard
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese (part-skim)
  • 1 pound cottage cheese (2%)
  • 3 to 4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 package whole wheat lasagna noodles (or 3 sheets fresh pasta, or several zucchini noodles)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread squash in a single layer on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil, tossing squash with your fingers to coat. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, turning once, until tender and golden brown. Set aside. Turn oven down to 350 degrees.
  2. Meanwhile, brown sausage in a large skillet; when cooked, remove to a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil in same pan, add onions, and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until tender, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper and remove to bowl with sausage. Add chard to skillet with dried thyme and cook just until chard is wilted. Remove to bowl with sausage and mushrooms and toss together.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, cottage cheese, 2 cups mozzarella, 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, and eggs. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of dry mustard.
  4. Brush a 13-inch-by-9-inch baking dish with olive oil. Spread 1 cup ricotta mixture over bottom. Arrange 3 noodles on top (or 1 sheet). In the following order, layer the remaining ingredients: 1 1/2 cup ricotta mixture, one-half of the squash, one-half of the sausage/mushroom/chard mixture, one-half of the (remaining) mozzarella. Place 3 cooked noodles on top, and again layer the ingredients: ricotta, squash, mushrooms mixture, mozzarella. For the final layer, top with 3 noodles, spread with remaining ricotta mixture, and sprinkle 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over the top. Cover with foil.
  5. Bake lasagna, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until heated through, about 20 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

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