I am fortunate that there is a gardener in town who has already begun her microgreen crop. Fresh is best when it comes to pea shoots. The grocery store isn't fresh enough unless you live in a big city.
This vegetarian lasagna can be made with whatever is available. I am using butternut squash and broccoli alongside my homemade ricotta cheese. Serve with a green salad.
Butternut Squash and Broccoli Lasagna
1 butternut squash
1 lb. broccoli
coarse sea salt
1 pound fresh ricotta
1 pound mozarella cheese
1 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
red chile flakes
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
4 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 bay leaf
Slice the squash in half and scoop out all the seeds and discard. Slice squash into 1/2 inch slices and peel. When the entire squash has been sliced and peeled, toss lightly in olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking pan. Bake in a 400 F oven for about 12 minutes or until barely tender.
Meanwhile cut the broccoli into florets and blanch in salted, boiling water for 2 - 3 minutes. Drain and chill in cold water. Drain thoroughly. Chop coarsely. Toss with a little olive oil, season with sea salt, pepper and chile flakes. Set aside.
Combine the ricotta, mozarella, one cup of grated Parmesan, lemon zest, sage and rosemary. Set aside
Make the béchamel by melting the butter in a medium sized pot. Then add the flour. Cook for a couple of minutes but do not let it brown. Slowly whisk in the milk. Add bay leaf and grated nutmeg. Heat to a simmer and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Transfer to the top of a double boiler and keep warm until needed.
Boil pasta sheets in a big pot of salted water until barely al dente. Drain and cut into pieces that fit a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish.
To put it all together begin by ladling a half a cup of béchamel sauce in the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of pasta. Then add a third of the squash and broccoli. On top of that add about a third of the cheese mixture. This will be in small chunks. Add a cup of béchamel. Top with another layer of pasta and repeat two more times. Top with pasta and the remainder of the béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. At this point the lasagna can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.
Bake at 375 F for about 45 minutes. It should be bubbling. If the top has not browned place under the broiler for a minute or two. Let it rest for 5 or 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8 people.