Stupid carbs…if you love lasagna, but need to stay away from white pasta, this might be a good alternative way to enjoy the richness of a lasagna without the jump in glycemic index. My CSA keeps delivering tens of pounds of sweet potatoes, and so I have to find a way to use them beyond the simple baked sweet potato and sweet potato oven fries. So I adapted a Martha Stewart recipe for Sweet Potato Cannoloni (mostly because I couldn’t get the sweet potato slices thin enough to blanche quickly and roll into tubes like cannelloni shells), changing the filling to a sheep’s milk ricotta and mashed sweet potatoes, layering in crispy sage leaves and drizzling the top with a sage brown butter.
Sweet Potato Lasagna
3 large sweet potatoes
1 cup ricotta
¼ cup Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, half grated, half shaved
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons butter, plus additional to coat pan
24 fresh whole sage leaves
2 tablespoons toasted walnuts, chopped
Additional chives for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap one sweet potato in foil and pierce several times with a fork. Bake about one hour or until tender. Let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Meanwhile, peel remaining sweet potatoes. Cut the potatoes into very thin rectangular slices lengthwise (about 1/8” or less).
- Blanche the sweet potato slices in batches in boiling water, about two minutes or until tender. Remove using a slotted spoon onto baking sheet or pan and let cool.
- Scoop out flesh (or remove peel) from baked sweet potato and mash by hand or puree in a food processor until smooth. Add ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons of the grated cheese, chives and salt and pepper to taste and mix until smooth.
- Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat, stirring constantly. After the foam subsides, watch carefully and keep stirring until the butter turns a light brown and starts to smell like toasted hazelnuts. Throw in the sage leaves and swirl the pan a couple of times and immediately pour the butter and sage into a heatproof container before it burns.
- Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter. Place a layer of blanched sweet potato slices on the bottom of the pan. Cover with a layer of cheese and sweet potato filling, then drizzle with a bit of the sage brown butter. Repeat. (If you aren’t ready to serve, at this stage, you can refrigerate, covered, overnight; bring to room temperature before baking).
7. Drizzle with remaining sage brown butter. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with walnuts, chives and shaved Parmesan.