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Author Notes: I improvised this recipe to serve as a vegetarian entrée at Thanksgiving. My partner is vegetarian, so we usually have turkey and another entrée for him. For the noodles, I used the noodles from this recipe: 1 recipe lasagne noodles from Food and Wine, December 2014, Creamy White Lasagne with Toppings (http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/creamy-white-lasagna-with-toppings), but you could also use a box and a half of Ronzoni lasagna cooked according to the recipe on the box. It's a large lasagna, so I used a roasting pan for extra depth. —James Mittelmark
- 2 Large Butternut Squash
- 1 Large Onion
- 2 cups Mushrooms (I like the Baby Bellas) cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 8oz. Packages Seitan
- 1 teaspoon Chopped Fresh Sage Leaves
- 3 Fresh Sage Leaves (Unchopped)
- 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
- Kosher Salt
- Olive Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- 2 cups Milk
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Piece of Parmesan cheese for grating
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2-3 tablespoons Flour
- 1 tablespoon Corn Starch
- Make the squash: Peel, seed and cube the two squash. I love a sharp vegetable peeler for this.Toss with brown sugar and a cinnamon. Oil two baking sheets generously with veg. oil. Dump squash on trays and toss in oil. Roast at 400 rotating sheets and switching top and bottom every five minutes until squash has darkly browned on edges. Once slightly cooled, place in food processor, add a half cup of milk and the cornstarch and process till smooth. Store or use.
- Make filling Peel and coarsely chop onion. Chop fine in food processor -- do not turn to paste. Same for mushrooms but keep them separate. Same for seitan. Cut sage leaves in a chiffonade. Saute onions until transluscent, add mushrooms and cook till liquid begins to be released, add seitan and sage. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Make bechamel Heat about 1 ½ C milk and ½ C cream with a few sage leaves in microwave while cooking a rue of olive oil and flour in a pot. Don’t go crazy with flour; the rue should be liquidy. Also, don’t panic, the rue should be liquidy. Add the hot milk gradually to the rue and also add ¼ - ½ C parm cheese. You might try the bechamel with nutmeg instead of squash although this may be too many tastes. Remove the sage leaves.
- Assemble Take large roasting pan and oil generously. Add a small amount of milk to the bottom of the pan. Cover pan bottom with noodles. Carefully spread noodles with squash. Wet fingers and smoosh squash down to an even layer. Top with parmesan cheese and a layer of noodles. Now add the seitan etc. filling, distribute even and top with parm. cheese. Another layer of noodles. For the second squash layer, dilute the squash a little with about ¼ C milk. This is just to provide more cooking liquid to cook the noodles and bind the thing together. Spread squash over noodles. Top with parm cheese and another layer of noodles. Now add about ⅔ or ¾ of the bechamel and top with parm and more noodles. Now add the rest of the bechamel and some more parm cheese, why not?
- Bake Wrap the pan in foil and cook in a 350F (I think) oven for a good long time, maybe 45 minutes. When you remove the foil, the whole thing should look more solid and be pulled away from the edges of the pan. Brown under the broiler turning once until it looks nice.
- If you’re not serving it till the next day, allow it to cool and refrigerate it overnight. On the next day, I reheated it by placing it, along with a number of other dishes for the meal, in a 225F oven for at least an hour. You can also reheat at 350 till hot through.