Thursday, October 18, 2012

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Image credit: Kristina Gill via Design Sponge

I loved this recipe found on Design Sponge via Pinterest! (I would recommend clicking on the original recipe to see more of their beautiful photos of the process.) One of my favorite things to pick up at Farmer's Markets is Butternut Squash. I made soup with it last time I got it, and this time I was dying to try this new recipe, and it did not disappoint. I figured since I already had fresh mozzarella and a block of Parm cheese, it was the perfect time to make it. It was a bit time-consuming, but well worth all of the effort. It would be a lovely dish to serve to company. 

Butternut Squash Lasagna 

1 Large Butternut squash – Peeled, cored and sliced thin 1/4 inch
1 stick Butter, separated
¼ Cup Flour
3 ½ Cups Whole Milk
6 cloves Garlic
1 handful Spinach
1 bunch Italian Parsley
10 to 14 Pasta Sheets (I bought "no boil" noodles to avoid cooking noodles separately. I was tempted to buy fresh pasta sheets from local Italian Deli, but decided to stay on-budget :-)
3 Cups Shredded Mozzarella (I used thinly sliced fresh mozzarella from Costco)
½ Cup Parmesan (freshly grated is my fave - we usually have this on hand in fridge.)
10 each Sage Leaves – Sliced Thin
1 Lemon – Zest
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

1) Roast butternut squash:
Pre-heat oven to 375F. I used a large baking sheet and drizzled with olive oil and placed the squash slices on it, seasoned with salt and pepper, repeated another layer until all the butternut is layered. Covered with foil and baked for about 10- 15 minutes until the squash is cooked yet still firm enough to break apart.

2) Make cream sauce:
While squash is roasting, start on your roux: ½ stick of butter in the pot and melt until almost browned, whisk in the flour and continue to cook for about 30 seconds, slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a boil, Add the garlic and continue to cook at a medium heat until mixture thickens (took me about 30 minutes total, I think.) Transfer the mixture to the food processor (or blender) and blend in the Spinach/parsley. Season with salt and Pepper.

3) Assemble and bake lasagna:
Rub the Baking dish with a little butter and begin the layers: Cream Sauce, pasta sheets, Mozza, Parma, butternut – Repeat. Make sure the top layer has cheese on top. Cover with Foil and Bake for 40 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 15 or until the top is crispy golden brown.

4) Serve with Sage/Lemon Brown Butter:
While lasagna rests for 10 minutes before serving, make your Sage/Lemon Brown Butter: In small saut̩ pan bring the remaining 1/2 stick butter to a light brown color РVery hot and bubbling add sage, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Spoon over a little on each piece.

Voila, truly delicious and full of winning combination flavors. And yes, men like it, too.  :-)
Image credit: Kristina Gill via Design Sponge