I was so excited to have the opportunity to be hired to make this dish for a friend for her Thanksgiving guests. When she was at a bit of a loss on what to serve one of her vegan, gluten free guests this holiday, I was happy to share the love of delicious vegan food. This is one of my favorite dishes to bring to parties and everyone always loves it. I guess a couple of years ago, I would have been more timid to try making a dish like this that looked a little expert level. Though once you get the basics down of soaking nuts and blending them to make creamy sauces, the rest is pretty straight forward. This dish has so much flavor, nice texture, and great presentation. My go-to dish for holidays or pot lucks.
For the cashew cheese, cover 2 cups of cashews in water and let sit for 2 hours or more to soften. Drain cashews and add all cheese ingredients to a blender, mix until smooth and set aside. Alternatively, you can use the almond ricotta here. Just mix together all of the almond ricotta ingredients until well combined.
For the pesto, mix all ingredients in a food processor, add more olive oil as necessary (I add maybe 1-2 tsp more). Set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 425F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel a butternut squash, and cut the bulb off and set aside.
** Tip: Butternut squash can be difficult to cut. Just pierce some holes into the squash with a fork and put in the microwave for a few minutes to very slightly soften.
Half the top part and then cut into (approx. 1/8 inch thick) half-moon shaped slices.
Arrange the squash slices in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes until they are tender. Oil, salt and pepper are optional.
Peel the purple sweet potato and cut into round slices or half moons. Lay them on a single layer of a parchment lined baking sheet. These might take a little less time than the squash so keep an eye on them after 20 minutes.
Let squash and sweet potato cool for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Then reduce the heat to 350F degrees.
Lightly grease a glass or ceramic dish.
Arrange the layer of sweet potato first with the slices slightly overlapping. Next, add spoonfuls of pesto all around, then the same for the cashew cheese or almond ricotta. Add your second layer, now with the squash and continue until you’re done. You should have enough for about 3 layers of the lasagna using an 8 inch dish.
There may be a little pesto or cheese leftover depending on how much you use.
Bake lasagna for approx. 30 minutes at 350F and serve. If you are making this a day ahead, just layer all of the ingredients together and keep ready in the fridge until you are ready to cook the next day.