I must have been feeling ambitious after arriving home from a weekend of celebrating at Virginia Tech

Or perhaps it was the lack of vegetables & “real food” that made this creation come to life….

But either way, I’m sure glad it did, because it was delicious! 😀

Sweet Potato & Green Pea Lasagna-Wanna-Be!

Serves 4

Prep & Cooking Time: 30 minutes    Baking time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

On the trek home from Blacksburg yesterday morning my mind drifted off into food creation land, trying to think of a fun way to use up the sweet potatoes that I knew I had waiting for me at home.

I wanted something saucy 😉 and cheesy, with just enough heartiness to fill me up while not weighing me down after a weekend of indulgences.

This “lasagna” uses a very thinly sliced sweet potato in lieu of your traditional lasagna noodle.

It also has a creamy layer of ricotta & parmesan laced with sweet green peas, which is a really fun play on textures I think.

It does take some time to bake, so I’d definitely reserve it for a lazy Sunday night when you have the extra minutes to wait (it’s worth it, I promise!) 😛

Layer 1:  The Meat Sauce

  • 1 can (28 oz.) Muir Glen organic crushed tomatoes w/ basil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb. 90/10 grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • sea salt & black pepper
  • 1 tblsp olive oil

Cook the onion and ground beef in olive oil for 10 minutes over medium-high heat, or until the beef is mostly cooked through, stirring every once in a while.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic and spices (give a quick stir), cooking for another 5 minutes until your kitchen smells like pure love.

Then throw in your canned tomatoes, give it another good stir, cover and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

P.S. If your crushed tomatoes aren’t already seasoned with basil then I’d up the amount of the dried herbs called for above.

So easy. So flavorful. So good.

Layer 2: Ricotta, Parmesan & Green Pea Mixture

  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan (also set aside another 1/2 cup for later)
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1 egg
  • sea salt & black pepper to season

Just give everything a stir to incorporate.  Easy as pie.

Layer 3:  Sweet Potato “Noodles”

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled

Anyone else ever use a mandolin slicer?  This kitchen tool is totally wonderful and pretty inexpensive.

I ran the sweet tater through the mandolin to get these super thin slices.

Of course, you could use a knife too if you don’t have a mandolin slicer on hand, just be careful! 

I might recommend microwaving the sweet potato for a minute or two if using a knife to slice since the thin mandolin-sliced pieces soften in the called for baking time, however thicker slices may take longer. 

Now let’s get to layering!

Wipe a baking dish with a bit of olive oil to prevent any sticking, then spoon about 1/2 cup of the tomato meat sauce mixture on the bottom of the pan.

Top with half of the sweet potato slices.

Then layer on all of the ricotta cheese mixture, spreading evenly but gently so as to not disturb the taters below.

Top with half of the remaining meat mixture.

Another layer of sweet potato slices (the rest of them)

Another layer of the tomato meat sauce (the rest of it).

And a final layer of more Parmesan cheese (the remaining 1/2 cup that was set aside earlier).  Feel free to use as much as you like too, as I tend to prefer it light on the cheese.

Heck, even add some shredded mozzarella while you’re at it, who am I to say! 😉

Into a 350F oven this goes.  You’ll want to cover with foil and bake for an hour, then uncover and bake for another 30 minutes.

At the end of the baking time the sweet potatoes should be fairly soft, that’s how you’ll know it’s done 🙂

Oh just check out all those layers!

Who said lasagna had to have noodles anyways? 😛

This dish had an almost sweet flavor, which I really liked alot.  I think it was a mixture of the sweet potatoes and sweet tomato basil sauce.  I also loved the oh-so-wonderful “pop” from the sweet peas (am I a broken record here?) and the creaminess from the ricotta.

I would definitely do this one over again, I considered it a hit!

Deliciously healthy while still rich n’ cheesy, total win in my cookbook 😉

Have you ever made a less-than-traditional lasagna before?  If so, do share!

 

7 Comments

  1. I recently made lasagna and used thin zucchini slices for the noodles. Love using a veggies for noodles- so fun.

    This looks wonderful – so comforting!

  2. SO fabulous! I love sweet potatoes and I bet they’re just awesome in this lasagna like dish!! I made a squash and spinach lasagna and loved it: http://www.itzyskitchen.com/2011/03/e-squash-spinach-noodle-less-lasagna.html

  3. Holy moly! Amazing!!

  4. I think of lasagna as simply a layered casserole. One of my favorites every summer is using fresh grilled vegetables- what ever is fresh and on-hand. Highly recommend the small investment in a mandolin like you are showing. I also have made one with russet potatoes, smoked salmon and a cream-based sauce.

  5. I’ve never been too too creative with lasagna- certainly not in such a delicious way as you’ve done here 🙂

    I like to make ’em in cupcake tins, though, with wonton wrappers for pasta- just for the ease of it all!

    You always inspire me to be more creative, Stephanie!!

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