Autumn Lasagna

• 9 Lasagna Noodles

• 6 cloves Garlic, minced
• 3 sprigs Fresh Tarragon, chopped

• 3 Tbsp Butter
• 3 Tbsp Flour
• 3.5 cups Almond Milk
• 3 dried Bay Leaves
• 1 Tbsp Asian Fish Sauce
• 1 tsp Chicken Bouillon
• 1 tsp Greek Seasoning
• 1/2 cup Parmesan Rind, chunked to 1/4 inch
• 2 tsp Sugar

• 8 stalks Green Kale
• 2 Tbsp Water
• 2 Tbsp Malt Vinegar
• 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

• 4 cups Butternut Squash, chunked to 1/2 inch
• 1/4 cup Olive Oil
• 1/2 cup Leeks, chopped
• 1/2 cup Parsley Leaves, chopped
• 1 cup Walnuts, chopped
• Salt and Pepper to taste

• 1 bag shredded Mozzarella Cheese

This is an amazing dish, just so long as you're not expecting anything like traditional lasagna with which it has only the noodles in common. Otherwise it is a delicious excuse to bring together the complimentary flavors of walnuts, cheese, kale, and butternut squash. One of these days I will try adding sliced tart apples to the dish, but I think I might skip on the typical addition of cinnamon and nutmeg. It's neat to have a dish that lets the squash be different from all the other ways it is most commonly used.

You may have to search about to find parmesan rinds but it is highly recommended. The chunks turn chewy after being cooked in the white sauce. Between this and the fried squash chunks Autumn Lasagna is a dish that often fools non-vegetarians into thinking that they haven't eaten something that is (for the most part) vegetarian.

To Start: Set the oven to 375 F and prepare a 9x12 glass pan with spray oil. In a large pot boil water and cook the lasagna noodles as per the box instructions.

Mince the six cloves of Garlic and split into two piles. Assemble all of the necessary ingredients.

In a sauce pan melt the butter thoroughly over medium heat, briskly mix in the flour until it dissolves to become a boiling cream-like substance. Add the Almond milk and set to simmer on medium heat. Add to it one pile of minced Garlic and the Tarragon leaves along with everything in the ingredients list from Bay Leaves to Sugar. Stir occasionally, letting the mixture thicken, while preparing everything else.

Separate the Kale from its stalks and chop into strips. In a wok heat water, vinegar and red pepper flakes to steaming. Add the kale and stir fry until the kale turns bright green. Remove and set aside. Empty out the wok and wipe clean with paper towel.

Peel the rind off the butternut squash and chop into 1/2 inch chunks. Prepare the Leeks, Parsley, and Walnuts. In the wok heat the olive oil to medium high heat (just short of smoking). Add the Squash and Leeks and gently stir fry for about ten minutes. Add the chopped Walnuts and stir fry for about a minute. Add the Parsley and fry for about a minute longer. Salt and Pepper to taste. Empty out wok into a dish with paper towels in the bottom so oil can drain out of mixture.

In the pan lay down three noodles and cover with half of the butternut mixture. Cover with 1/3 of the white sauce. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and cover with three noodles. Spread the kale mixture over the noodles and cover with another 1/3 of the white sauce. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and cover with three noodles. Cover with the rest of the butternut mixture and the remainder of the white sauce and sprinkle heavily with mozzarella.

Cover the pan with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook another 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and then serve.

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© 2018, JDMcDonnell