Sunday, November 15, 2009
Butternut Squash Lasagna
I've been away from the blog for the last two weeks for many reasons. Some fun, some stressful, but let's pretend it's just because all my energy has been focused on bringing you more ways to make butternut squash, which I consider to be one of the true joys of fall. I'd been working on perfecting my butternut squash risotto recipe when I got distracted by the idea of butternut squash lasagna. This recipe seemed to be very highly recommended, but as someone who's spent a day picking the tiny shards of skin off a pan of hazelnuts, I'll admit, I was daunted. So I found one by Giata that did not require any earth-shattering efforts on my part and was quite pleased. It's sweet and cheesy and just may be that vegetarian entree you were looking to serve at Thanksgiving.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH LASAGNA
from Giata De Laurentiis
3 T olive oil
1 (1.5 -2lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1 inch cubes
salt and pepper
3 amaretti cookies*, crumbled
1/4 C butter
1/4 C flour
3 1/2 C whole milk
1/2 C fresh sage leaves
12 no boil lasagna noodles
2 1/2 C shredded mozzarella
1/3 C grated parm (I always mean the real stuff, parmigiano reggiano, not a shaker from Kraft)
*You may be able to find amaretti cookies at your local grocery store, but definitely at your Italian market or grocer. For heaven's sake, unless you love amaretti cookies, don't pay the premium to get Lazzaroni which are easily double or triple the price of less famous brands.
Preheat your oven to 450 F. Toss the squash with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until tender. Cool slightly then puree the squash together with the amaretti cookies in a food processor. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Reduce oven temp to 375 F.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir for a few minutes until all flour is coated with butter and is sort of goldeny sludge. Add the milk slowly, whisking to incorporate the flour butter mixture. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. You are looking for slight thickening, the sauce should coat a spoon lightly. Add the nutmeg and stir through. Mince your sage and add that as well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble your lasagna. Lightly butter a 9 by 13 baking dish. On the bottom, put down a layer of the sauce, you should have plenty so be generous. Then add a layer of noodles. Cover with a layer of squash, then a layer of the mozzarella, then a layer of the sauce - I had a lot of extra sauce and just poured it over, it all got soaked up and the lasagna was not watery at all. Repeat three times. On the top add a bit more shredded mozzarella and the parm. Cover the top tightly with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for 15 minutes more. Finally, remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving. It will look delicious and golden and bubbly. Like so: