Sunday, November 13, 2011

Butternut & Acorn Squash Lasagna

Squashy goodness
I'll admit it - I'm having a full blow love affair with fall foods, particularly winter squash.  I didn't do any blogging this summer, but I assure you that I was crushing on summer squash and zucchini nearly as much during that whole season.  Now that the temperatures have dropped, those hard skinned, awkwardly shaped gourds are all over my kitchen (as well as some decorative ones around the house, too.)

This lasagna has been inspired by a couple different recipes - one from Giada and one from Martha, but it ended up being my version.  Most of those versions were leaning too much on the sweet side of things for my taste.  So here's a more savory version that is sure to please.

Squash Filling:
  • 1 medium sized butternut squash, 2 acorn squash - seeded, halved, rubbed with EVOO, sprinkled with S&P, and roasted at 400 degrees until fork tender.
  • 2 medium sweet onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper 
  • S&P to taste
Remove the squash from it's skins after cooking.  Mash with a fork until smooth. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan and sauté the onions over medium-medium high heat until they just begin to color, approximately 15 minutes.  Turn heat to medium low, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until they reach a light caramel-y color.  Add the garlic, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Next, add the sage, cayenne, and S&P.  Turn heat off, and add the mashed squash.  Mash and stir well until all ingredients are well combined.  Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Set aside until ready to assemble the lasagna.

Cheese Filling:
  • One 2lb container of Ricotta (either party skim or whole milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Scant 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • S&P to taste
Mix all ingredients very well, and refrigerate covered until ready to assemble the lasagna.

Béchamel Sauce
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk, warmed.
  • 1 heaping tsp fresh finely chopped basil
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • S&P to taste
In a large saucepan, melt the butter.  Once melted, sprinkle in the flour. Whisk the mixture vigorously until smooth.  Let cook over medium heat, whisking very frequently, until the mixture starts to release a nutty smell and just starts to darken in color.  At that point, begin to add the milk in a small, steady stream, whisking furiously.  Make sure that all lumps are whisked out as you go.  Once the mixture reaches a thick liquid stage, you can add the rest of the milk more quickly, but you must continue to stir it.  Let the mixture continue to heat until it reaches a low simmer and thickens, about 5-7 minutes.  You want it to have a nice, thick, saucy consistency. Then, add the nutmeg, basil, S&P.  Taste, and adjust for seasoning. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside until ready to assemble the lasagna. 

For a quick video tutorial on making a béchamel sauce, look here

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 box of no-boil lasagna noodles (I prefer Barilla brand. The no-boil noodles save a ton of time and turn out great!)
  • 1 lb of shredded mozzarella cheese (I like Sargento brand)

To assemble the lasagna:
In a large glass baking dish, spoon enough sauce into the bottom of the pan to coat the entire bottom.  Next, add the lasagna noodles, with a very slight overlap between them. Top with a layer of the squash mixture, then more sauce on top of that.  Add the next layer of noodles, then a layer of the cheese filling, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella, and then with more sauce on top of that.  Keep alternating layers until you reach near the top of of the dish.  Finish with a layer of noodles with the béchamel sauce on top, sprinkled with shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan.

Bake your lasagna according to the package instructions for the noodles - the Barilla brand goes into a 375 degree oven, covered with foil for 50-60 minutes, or until bubbly. Then, uncover and finish baking just until the cheese is melted and bubbly on top.

Let rest until it's warm, and serve. It's quite rich, so a small slice should probably do the trick. The hubs and I enjoyed it with a simple arugula salad on the side.

1 comment:

  1. YUMMM! Sounds and looks so tasty. Could I possibly bribe you to make this for your faaaaavorite sister when she comes to visit?